Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Trickster Travels: A Sixteenth-Century Muslim Between Worlds” as Want to Read:
Trickster Travels: A Sixteenth-Century Muslim Between Worlds
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Trickster Travels: A Sixteenth-Century Muslim Between Worlds

3.55  ·  Rating Details  ·  134 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
"[A] fascinating tale of a man forced . . . to live between incompatible worlds. Highly recommended." --Library Journal

Al-Hasan al-Wazzan—born in Granada to a Muslim family that in 1492 went to Morocco—became famous as the great Renaissance writer Leo Africanus, author of the first geography of Africa to be published in Europe (in 1550). He had been captured by Christian p
Paperback, 448 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Hill and Wang (first published 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Trickster Travels, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Trickster Travels

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 345)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 29, 2008 Nicholas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Natalie Z. Davis's stated interests in mutually incomparable 'truths,' ambiguities, and speculative story-telling bear plenty of fruit in her most recent historical plunge: a cross-examination of cross-cultural relationships between cross and crescent worlds across a 16th-century Mediterranean milieu. Her analytical weapon of choice, neither a towering and typical monarch nor a Middle Aged Joe Sixpack (wink wink), was a Muslim scholar and diplomat named Al-Hasan al-Wazzan, conventionally known a ...more
October 19, 2009: This book is sloppy and unbalanced, and draws wide-ranging conclusions based on slender evidence. According to reviewers in Renaissance Quarterly, the Journal of World History, the Journal of Interdisciplinary History, and the Journal of Global History, this is a totally credible way of doing history -- if you're Natalie Zemon Davis. Fortunately, she is Natalie Zemon Davis -- but I fundamentally disagree that this makes it acceptable. Her main argument is that al-Hasan al-Wazza ...more
In Trickster Travels, Natalie Zemon Davis is as meticulous and complex as always. She has, again, reconstructed a life, a series of events, she has contextualized and used unreliable, meager written record to explore a long-dead human's psychological state. And, again, she has done so compellingly and persuasively. What sets Trickster Travels apart from much of her other work is that, at this latish (or at least not early) date in her career, Davis has completely shifted her historical focus to ...more
Mar 27, 2015 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Abandoned on page 30. The author just hasn't managed to interest me in reading any further. Read some bits from later and they don't seem any more inspiring.
Vivian Blaxell

Excessive use of the past tense auxiliary verbs: could have; would have; must have. Sometimes the historical evidence is not there and the historian may engage in a speculation grounded in what she knows about the way social, cultural, discursive and political practices operated in the time and place about which she writes. But when the majority of the study relies on this species of informed speculation, as does this study by the esteemed Natalie Zemon Davis, and without substantive discussion
Oct 23, 2012 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biography
What became clear to me as I was reading this is that there is very little in the way of hard facts concerning the man called Leo Africanus. Davis attempts to analyze his writings and other materials that reference him and build what is essentially a forensic biography.

For instance, Davis does not believe that Leo Africanus really converted from Islam to Christianity, and I find her reasons compelling. Ultimately, we cannot know what the man really thought because he left no records.

There is a
Tariq Mahmood
Found this book tough going as it is a proper history book of a Muslim traveller living in Rome for nine years. I was fascinated to read how much literary endeavours were undertaken by the Muslim noblemen of the 16th century at the tail end of Muslim power in the world much like the Western travellers of today touring the world. There are other similarities as well with the Muslim culture appearing to be much more sexually active and liberal as compared to the Western world back then. No wonder ...more
Jan 12, 2010 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great history of the Christian and Muslim worlds in the sixteenth century. It's probably a bit too esoteric for the average reader: kind of like what people say about 19th century Russian literature (Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, etc.): "I can't read that, because I just get lost in all those names!" Oh well, if you're interested in Christianity, Islam and the Middle East and Europe, you'd like this book.
Feb 03, 2008 Itsbecka rated it liked it
This was good - a little dry. Especially because I never had a real good introduction to Islamic/North African history, and many times I couldn't remember who did what and when. It also probably didn't help I was trying to read this on a plane...
Scott Kellicker
Too much detail and too many characters for my taste. I wanted to hear the history of this interesting man, with the key part of history being 'story', but was overwhelmed by more details than my tiny brain could digest.

I gave up.
Feb 15, 2011 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Early 16th c, Granada to Fez to Rome. A muslim scholar "between worlds" or something. Compelling stuff.
Aug 21, 2014 Samuel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
He went Back
Kat marked it as to-read
May 25, 2016
Emma marked it as to-read
May 19, 2016
Hamza Fazeel
Hamza Fazeel marked it as to-read
May 07, 2016
Haifa rated it really liked it
May 02, 2016
Helen Murray
Helen Murray rated it really liked it
Apr 30, 2016
Gozong Lor
Gozong Lor rated it liked it
Apr 22, 2016
Whitney Davis
Whitney Davis marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2016
Rami Tannous
Rami Tannous marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2016
Yasir Husain
Yasir Husain marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2016
Tomek marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2016
Linda rated it really liked it
Apr 07, 2016
Taylor marked it as to-read
Apr 02, 2016
Gloria Putman
Gloria Putman rated it liked it
Apr 25, 2016
Abdelrahman Mahmoud
Abdelrahman Mahmoud marked it as to-read
Mar 20, 2016
Lilith marked it as to-read
Mar 20, 2016
Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson marked it as to-read
Mar 18, 2016
Rynne Whalen
Rynne Whalen marked it as to-read
Mar 17, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe
  • The Order of Books: Readers, Authors, and Libraries in Europe Between the 14th and 18th Centuries
  • In the Shadow of Islam
  • Dangerous Knowledge: Orientalism and Its Discontents
  • The Night Battles: Witchcraft & Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth & Seventeenth Centuries
  • Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages
  • The Medieval Imagination
  • سفرنامه ماژلان
  • Amanti e regine. Il potere delle donne
  • The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, Volume I
  • The Foundations of Modern Political Thought: Volume One: The Renaissance
  • Letters from Mexico
  • The Prospect Before Her: A History of Women in Western Europe, 1500 - 1800
  • The French Intifada: The Long War Between France and Its Arabs
  • The Civilization Of Europe In The Renaissance
  • Montaillou: The Promised Land of Error
  • Peasant Fires: The Drummer of Niklashausen
  • Birth, Marriage, and Death: Ritual, Religion, and the Life Cycle in Tudor and Stuart England

Share This Book