Set nearly 3,800 years ago on the banks of the Euphrates, the novel traces the journey of Iltani, a gifted girl from a scribal family, who dreams of becoming a scribe. In order to fulfill her destiny she enters the gagû, becoming a nadītu, an elite class of monastic women. There, she is expected to lead a sheltered life and be cared for by her aunt and taught by a fellow nadītu-scribe. But life is not that simple; she is soon forced to deal with many unforeseen misfortunes. After eventually reaching her goal, she is invited by a male scribe to take part in engraving the stele for King Hammurabi; an invitation which will cause turmoil and uncertainty in her peaceful existence.
Among these women were the naditu women, a class of monastic women whose lives really intrigued me. I started to read more and more about them and the letters, sales contracts, adoption contracts and inheritance contracts that they wrote. The fact that all of these ancient letters were written in cuneiform on clay fascinated me even more.
At the beginning I felt uncomfortable that I was not using footnoting each sentence. But in a novel, references are background, not foreground.
Find the novel here: http://www.amazon.com/She-Wrote-Clay-Shirley-Graetz/dp/0989263126