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Literary and Empirical Readings of the Books of Esther

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Allison Kay Fountain

There are three different texts of the biblical Book of Esther . Literary and Empirical Readings of the Books of Esther includes a literary analysis of these three texts that indicates trends in their literary characteristics. This book also includes an empirical analysis of the reactions of real readers to the different texts. The empirical analysis indicates that real readers recognize some of the differences in the texts which were perceived from the literary analysis and that there are differences in perception depending on whether the readers were familiar with the biblical story or not. The data also enabled an analysis of the difference between male and female readers revealing that there was remarkably little difference in perception related to the gender of the reader. This book will be of particular interest in empirical studies of real readers’ reactions to narrative materials.