Maggie Anton is the award-winning author of "Rashi's Daughters," historical novels set in the household of the great medieval Jewish scholar, whose daughters studied Talmud when these sacred texts were forbidden to women. The first book of her new series, "Rav Hisda's Daughter: A Novel of Love, The Talmud and Sorcery," which takes place in 3rd-century Babylonia as the Talmud is being created, was selected for 2012 National Jewish Book Award in Fiction and Library Journal's choice for Best 2012 Historical Fiction.
A native of Los Angeles, Maggie worked for over 30 years as a clinical chemist for Kaiser Permanente before becoming an author. Raised in a secular, socialist household, she reached adulthood with little knowledge of her Jewish religion. All that changed when David Parkhurst, who was to become her husband, entered her life, and they both discovered Judaism as adults. That was the start of a lifetime of Jewish education, synagogue involvement, and ritual observance.
In 1992 Anton learned about a women's Talmud class taught by Rachel Adler, now a professor at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles. To her surprise, she fell in love with Talmud, a passion that has continued unabated for twenty years. Intrigued that the great Talmudic scholar Rashi had no sons, only daughters, Anton researched the family and decided to write novels about them. Thus the award-winning trilogy, Rashi's Daughters, was born.
Still studying women and Talmud, Anton has lectured throughout North America and Israel about the history behind her novels. You can follow her blog and contact her at her website, www.maggieanton.com.
"Rashi's Daughters:Book I - JOHEVED" was published in 2005, in honor of the 900th anniversary of Rashi's death, "Book II-MIRIAM" in 2007, and "Book III - RACHEL" in August 2009 by Plume. A YA version for ages 9-14, "Rashi's Daughter: Secret Scholar" was published in 2008 by JPS. Volume 1 of "Rav Hisda's Daughter" was published by Plume in Aug 2012 and it's sequel is due out in 2014.