Rania Matar - Enfant-Femme


About the book

"From our first meeting I sensed a kindred spirit in Rania Matar. We are both women of two worlds, striving to bridge the divides between cultures, both passionate about the rights of women and those who are disempowered. She grew up in Beirut and moved to America in the wake of civil war. I am Arab-American by birth, raised and educated in a Judeo-Christian society before leaving to work in the Middle East. I embraced Islam shortly before marrying a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, HM King Hussein of Jordan. Rania and I are two among millions for whom Western and Middle Eastern cultures are not mutually exclusive worldviews destined for confrontation. Rather, they combine to shape who we are and what we believe.

All this is exemplified in the beautiful and sensitive images in Rania's stunning book, L'Enfant-Femme. These moving photographs evoke a fundamental sense of cross-cultural understanding. Matar strips away the confines of societal labels from both herself and the girls she photographs. She exposes the boundaries of American and Arab cultures in order to reconcile them. They are not simply American; they are not simply Arab; neither are they simply Muslim, Christian, nor Jewish. These girls are simply girls – but much more besides. These are images of girls at the point where they are beginning to become women – a powerful combination of youth, womanhood and beauty."
– excerpt from the Introduction by Her Majesty Queen Noor

L'Enfant-Femme is Rania Matar's third book. Her first book, Ordinary Lives, was published in 2009. Her second book, A Girl and Her Room, was published in 2012.

Pre-release date: Paris Photo November 2015. Official release: February 2016

Published by Damiani Editore

Introduction by Her Majesty Queen Noor

Essay by Lois Lowry, author of The Giver

Afterward by Kristen Gresh, Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Assistant Curator of Photographs, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Reviews / Press

Story & Technique: L'Enfant-Femme
By Jim Cornfield
Rangefinder Magazine, January 2017

Rania Matar and The Mass Psychosis of Childhood
Review by Colin Pantall
Colin Pantall's Blog, October 6, 2016

Rania Matar - L'Enfant-Femme
by Douglas Stockdale
The PhotoBook, August 25, 2016

Carte Rania Matar: L'Enfant Femme
April 15, 2016

Rania Matar : passions suspendues
by Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret
Salon littéraire, April 5, 2016

Rania Matar Captures the Universal Awkwardness of Coming of Age
Book review and interview with Emily Manning
i-D magazine, March 10, 2016

The most inspiring and surprising images you'll see this week
Viewfinder, The Daily Telegraph
December 12, 2015

By Alexander Strecker
Lensculture, December 4, 2015

Images of girls on the road to womanhood
By Joanne Ciccarello
Photo Books: Staff Picks, The Christian Science Monitor Weekly, December 12, 2016

Review by Holly Stuart Hughes
PDN, November-December 2016

L'Enfant Dans L'Amour
Photography Blog by Elin Spring
August 9, 2016

Rania Matar, L'Enfant Femme by Damiani
L'Oeil de la Photographie
April 6, 2016

Portraits of girls on the cusp of teendom
Book review and interview by Michael-Oliver Harding
DAZED, March 25, 2016

Issue Magazine
January 2016

Little women: photographing tweens from Boston to Beirut
By Paula Cocozza
The Guardian, December 2, 2015

Purchase the book

L'Enfant-Femme was released February 2016, and is now available for purchase. To purchase your signed copy, click the button at the right or contact Rania Matar at rania@raniamatar.com.


LEnfant-Femme by Rania Matar

February 2016 • Damiani Editore • Hardcover • 10 x 12.5 inches • 152 pages • color photographs

Special thanks to book designer, Jesse Holborn of Design Holborn, for the photos of the book.