The “Oriental” Authoress

This image of novelist Myriam Harry in Chinese garb appears in black and white in  my book, but it’s far more dramatic on its original tangerine background. Harry was a Parisienne by way of Berlin and Jerusalem, where she was born. Readers loved the authentic feel of her autobiographical work The Conquest of Jerusalem, which earned her the very first Prix Vie Heureuse, later to become the Prix Femina. This much-coveted prize is still awarded by an all-woman jury, although both male and female authors are eligible. Other fun fact, for all you biblical scholars out there: Myriam’s father was the antiquities dealer Moses Shapira, famously accused of having fabricated ancient parchments. The humiliated Shapira committed suicide; it’s now widely believed those strips were part of the Dead Sea scrolls.

Readers delighted in Harry’s costume changes, as she moved from veiled Middle Eastern woman to high society authoress and back again


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