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

Trickster Travels: A Sixteenth-Century Muslim Between Worlds

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  102 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...more
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 243)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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...more
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...more
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
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.
I have such a crush on Natalie Zemon Davis. I want to be her. Admittedly, this book can get a little frustrating with all the "mights" and "maybes" and "perhapses," but if the information's not there, I'd rather a historian be honest that she's positing a hypothetical rather than fooling the reader.
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.
Early 16th c, Granada to Fez to Rome. A muslim scholar "between worlds" or something. Compelling stuff.
Mohamad Ballan
Mohamad Ballan marked it as to-read
Sep 28, 2014
Julia Walsh
Julia Walsh marked it as to-read
Sep 24, 2014
Rebecca marked it as to-read
Sep 25, 2014
Laura marked it as to-read
Sep 04, 2014
Fouad marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2014
Judie marked it as to-read
Aug 30, 2014
Rrrrr marked it as to-read
Aug 23, 2014
Chey added it
Jul 23, 2014
Shane is currently reading it
Sep 15, 2014
Laura marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
The Return of Martin Guerre Women on the Margins: Three Seventeenth-Century Lives Society and Culture in Early Modern France: Eight Essays Fiction in the Archives: Pardon Tales & Their Tellers in Sixteenth-century France (Harry Camp Lecture) Slaves on Screen: Film and Historical Vision

Share This Book