One Thousand and One Nights

A Retelling

By Hanan Al-Shaykh; Mary Gaitskill (Foreword by)
(Pantheon Books, Hardcover, 9780307958860, 288pp.)

Publication Date: June 11, 2013

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Description

Gathered and passed down over the centuries from India, Persia, and across the Arab world, the mesmerizing stories of One Thousand and One Nights tell of the real and the supernatural, love and marriage, power and punishment, wealth and poverty, and the endless trials and uncertainties of fate. They are related by the beautiful, wise, young Shahrazad, who gives herself up to murderous King Shahrayar. The king has vowed to deflower and then kill a virgin every night—but Shahrazad will not be defeated by the king’s appetites. To save herself, she cunningly spins a web of tales, leaving the king in suspense each morning, and thus prolonging her life for another day.

Acclaimed Lebanese writer Hanan al-Shaykh has selected nineteen of these stories, retold them in modern English, and knitted them together into an utterly intoxicating collection. In al-Shaykh’s hands, Shahrazad’s tales are lush and evocative, rich with humor, and utterly captivating. 




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's novel, Veronica, was nominated for a 2005 National Book Award and was one of The New York Times's 10 Best Books of 2005. She is also the author of 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 Magazine, 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. She lives in New York.
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