Passed down over centuries from India, Persia, and across the Arab world, the mesmerizing stories of "One Thousand and One Nights" are related by the beautiful, young Shahrazad as she attempts to delay her execution. Retold in modern English by the acclaimed Lebanese author Hanan al-Shaykh, here are stories of the real and the supernatural, love and marriage, power and punishment, wealth and poverty, and the endless trials and uncertainties of fate. Bringing together nineteen classic tales, in these pages al-Shaykh weaves an utterly intoxicating collection, rich with humor, violence, and romance.
About the Author
Hanan al-Shaykhis widely regarded as one of the foremost experts on Arab womanhood. Her works include Women of Sand and Myrrh, The Story of Zahra, Beirut Blues and The Locust and the Bird. Tim Supple is one of the world's leading theatre directors and creators. His widely-acclaimed works include Twelfth Night (Channel 4 film), Tales from Ovid, A Servant to Two Masters(both RSC) anda multi-lingual A Midsummer Night's Dream (Dash Arts/world tour).
Mary Gaitskill is the author of the novel Veronica, a finalist for the 2005 National Book Award and named one of the New York Times' Ten Best Books of 2005. She is also the author of a short-story collection and the acclaimed novels Because They Wanted To and Two Girls, Fat and Thin. Her stories and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, The Best American Short Stories (1993), and The O. Henry Prize Stories (1998). Her short story "Secretary" was the basis for the film of the same name.
“Magical. . . . Bursting with jinnis and mischief.”
—Donna Tartt, The Times (London)
“[al-Shaykh] brings the modern fiction writer’s gift for psychological complexity to the rich-but-streamlined quality of the originals. . . . Read through knowing you’re getting the very best of The Arabian Nights.”
—O, The Oprah Magazine
“al-Shaykh performs a great service in retelling [the Arabian Nights]. . . . [She] has shifted the camera angles, as it were, and trained the spotlight on the characters. . . . We get more of the essence of these stories, their anarchic humor and cheerful sadism.”
“A treat and a trap for story lovers. Like a contemporary Shahrazad, al-Shaykh has rendered 19 little masterpieces into a wondrously warm, ribald and hilarious concoction.”
—Hanif Kureishi, The Guardian (London)