SHE WROTE ON CLAY is the story of a daring young woman striving to become a female scribe 3800 years ago.
As an introduction to her debut novel She Wrote on Clay, Dr. Shirley Graetz will be lecturing about the spellbinding life of the naditu, a class of wealthy, monastic businesswomen who lived 3800 years ago in Mesopotamia. Dr. Graetz will present the historical sources about the naditu women which are the basis of her novel. The lecture will be accompanied by visual material and reading of ancient texts. In addition, she will introduce you to Iltani, the fascinating heroine of She Wrote on Clay.
About the novel She Wrote on Clay:
Set nearly 3,800 years ago in Sippar, a city on the banks of the Euphrates, the novel traces the journey of Iltani, a gifted maiden from a scribal family, who dreams of becoming a scribe. In order to fulfill her destiny she enters the gagu, becoming a naditu, an elite class of monastic women. There, she is expected to lead a sheltered life and be cared for by her aunt and taught by a fellow naditu-scribe. But life is not that simple; she is forced to deal with many unforeseen misfortunes. On the verge of despair, it takes all her strength to master the difficult journey, and achieve the status of a well-respected scribe. Nevertheless, after a few years of tranquility, she is invited by a male scribe to take part in engraving the stele for King Hammurabi; an invitation which will cause turmoil and uncertainty in her peaceful existence.
The unique feature of She Wrote on Clay is not only the exceptional account of the naditu women, but also the integration into the plot of original Akkadian material (cuneiform letters, contracts etc.), vivid testimonies, which are rarely encountered by anyone outside the field of Assyriology.
About the author:
Shirley Graetz was born in Dusseldorf, Germany. In her early twenties she went to Israel to study and stayed for good. In 2013 she received her Ph.D. in Ancient Near Eastern studies from the Ben Gurion University of the Negev. She teaches about the history of Ancient Israel and the Ancient Near East and is a licensed tour- guide. She is married to Rabbi Tzvi Graetz and is the mother of three young children.
Writing books combines both things she loves very much: researching history and telling stories.
Reviews about SHE WROTE ON CLAY:
"As a scholar of the Ancient Near East, I was captivated by Shirley Graetz's novel SHE WROTE ON CLAY. She succeeds in turning relatively dry historical sources into a gripping tale of the past. With descriptions of people, religion, architecture, culinary culture, and the use of ancient texts embedded into the story, the author brings an ancient society to life in a lively and intriguing manner.
I highly recommend this novel for students and lovers of ancient history, and also for those who enjoy reading a well-written, spellbinding story."
-Dr. Filip Vukosavovic, curator of the Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem.
"Shirley Graetz's She Wrote on Clay combines the detailed research of an academic with the vivid imagination of a novelist. The result is a fascinating tale about the lives of women in a little-known era of human history."
-Janice Weizman, Author of The Wayward Moon, winner of the Gold Medal in Historical Fiction in the Independent Publisher Book Awards.