A Delightful Compendium of Consolation: A Fabulous Tale of Romance, Adventure and Faith in the Medieval Mediterranean Paperback – 15 March 2008
The year is 1031. The place is Fustat, Egypt.
Having learned to read and write, Karimah is put to work by her merchant father, Dunash HaCohen al-Tustari, for whom she does bookkeeping.
She is sent to work with Ismail, the son of her father's partner, and they fall in love. Unfortunately, their parents, although colleagues and friends, will not smile upon the union: Ismail is Muslim and Karimah is a Karaite, member of a sect of Jews who adhere solely to the law as it is understood from the written Bible, rejecting rabbinical interpretation.
Karimah runs away with her lover, and her father undergoes mourning for his "lost" child. In his grief, he turns to Rabbenu Nissim, a religious leader and teacher from Kairawan, North Africa; modern-day Tunisia.
Rabbenu Nissim begins to write a series of rabbinical tales to comfort his friend, Dunash. The stories work their magic - Dunash looks forward to the stories he hears of living a life of love, of community and faith in God.
Karimah writes her own scrolls - to her brother, al-Iskander. These are tales of her own fantastic adventures, interspersed with stories she appropriates from the Arabian Nights.
As events unfold, the storytellers become lost in their own stories which begin to entwine and take on a life of their own. The storytellers learn that their tales are mirrors; the more they are told, the more they reflect the teller.
- Language : English
- Paperback : 328 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1934730203
- ISBN-13 : 978-1934730201