One thousand and one nights : a retelling

by Shaykh, Ḥanān,

Format: Print Book 2013
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 5 copies
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CLP - Main Library First Floor - Fiction Stacks FICTION Shaykh
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Northern Tier Regional Library Fiction FIC SHAYK
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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.
Shahrayar and Shahrazad
The fisherman and the jinni
The porter and the three ladies
The first dervish
The second dervish
The third dervish
The first merchant
The hunchback
The mistress of the house's tale
The doorkeeper's tale
The shopper's tale
The reaction of the caliph
Dalila the wily
The demon's wife
The woman and her five lovers
Budur and qamal al-zaman
Zumurrud and Nur al-Din
The fourth voyage of Sindbad the sailor
The resolution of the porter and the three ladies.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Telling tales is old as humanity, with as many motivations to amuse or distract, instruct or mislead, edify or abase as tellers. Vizier's daughter Shahrazad spun tales to save the young women threatened, as she was, by a cuckolded king's brutality. Lebanese journalist, novelist, and playwright al-Shaykh retells them to celebrate her ­rediscovery of the Arab classic's stylistic artistry, the complex society it portrays, and its stunning female characters, far from passive and fearful, quite aware of their social limits, yet full of will and intelligence and wit. For al-Shaykh, as for Shahrazad, stories are matryoshka dolls, nesting within one another and casting ghosts and shadows in all directions. Here, Shahrazad first tells the traditional tale of the fisherman and the jinni, and then brings together at the impressive home shared by three beautiful sisters, a porter, three dervishes, and three merchants. Over many hours, each character tells multiple stories for different goals in a context of ever-shifting personal and power relationships. Hilarious, horrifying, touching, enlightening, or revelatory, al-Shaykh's versions of these ancient tales remind us how story-cycles overwhelm limits of space or time or culture.--Carroll, Mary Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "For this retelling of the classic Arabic tales, Beirut-born al-Shaykh translated 19 of the originals and, beginning with its traditional frame story, embeds narrative within narrative to create a striking new version. To counter "the cunning and deceit of women," King Shahrayar beds a new wife each night only to have her killed in the morning. But his vizier's daughter, Shahrazad, vows to save the kingdom's girls by marrying the king and then telling him stories that so enthrall him that he can't kill her. From that opening, the stories build and fold in on themselves until we find ourselves back at the beginning. These stories pulse with sex, magic, and moral ambiguities; while terrible violence underscores moments of pure beauty. Guests are invited into a home only to encounter terrible cruelty; a woman becomes king so she can be a beacon for her lost love; a man plucks his eye for the pain he caused his family. Why retread such well-worn territory? In her foreword al-Shaykh (Women of Sand and Myrrh) speaks of rediscovering her own Arab roots while recognizing the power these ancient women held. Suprising and delightful, al-Shaykh's masterful work has restored the tale to contemporary relevance. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."

Additional Information
Subjects Fables, Arabic -- Translations into English.
Publisher New York :Pantheon Books,2013
Edition First American edition.
Other Titles Arabian nights.
Language English
Notes "Originally published ... by Bloomsbury Publishing, London, in 2011"--Title page verso.
Description xix, 288 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9780307958860 :
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