Anonymous characters — such as Lot's wife, Jephthah's daughter, Pharoah's baker, and the witch of Endor — are ubiquitous in the Hebrew Bible, and appear in a wide variety of roles. Adele Reinhartz here answers two principal questions concerning this aspect of biblical narrative. First, is there a "poetics of anonymity," and if so, what are its contours? Second, how does anonymity affect the readers' response to, and construction of, unnamed biblical characters. She is especially interested in issues related to gender, determining whether female characters are more likely to be anonymous than male characters, and whether the anonymity of female characters functions differently from that of male
Readership: Students and scholars of the Hebrew Bible, Jewish studies, and women's studies.
Adele Reinhartz, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies, McMaster University, Canada
"This is in many ways a fascinating book. By the end of it I felt that I had been invited into a deep level of engagement with the OT text, as my attention was drawn to anonymous characters whom I might otherwise have noticed but not lingered on. It is a book primarily for scholars, but it is non-technical and therefore accessible to anyone with an interest in literary approaches to the Bible and in particular the issue of the construction of character in narrative." - Gillian Cooper, Book Reviews, Biblical Studies Anvil, Vol.18, No.2, 2001
"Through her patient, detailed exposition she shows anonymity to be a multi-faceted phenomenon with sophisticated nuances in individual passages. The book remains very accessible and readable throughout. Postmodernists and more traditional exegetes alike will find much of value in Reinhartz's work." - Sarah J.Melcher, Hebrew Studies, 41, 2000
"Insightful observations abound throughout the volume... this book is responsibly researched, with attention to studies beyond the boudaries of biblical scholarship... the book is valuable in that it reveals anonymity's rich and varied contributions to biblical narrative. Her frequent exegetical insights come as a delightful bonus." - Review of Biblical Literature. Greg Carey.