Other books byHanan al-Shaykh
One Thousand and One Nights
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.
One Thousand and One Nights
One of the world's great folk story-cycles adapted for the stage by leading theatre maker Tim Supple, from the stories written by the seminal Lebanese novelist Hanan al-Shaykh. This unique edition will unlock the ancient tales for a new generation of readers and performers. Written by Arabic writers from tales gathered in India, Persia and across the great Arab Empire, the One Thousand and One Nights are the never-ending stories told by Shahrazad night after night, under sentence of death, to the king Shahrayar who has vowed to marry a virgin every night and kill her in the morning. Shahrazad prolongs her life by keeping the King engrossed in a web of stories that never ends - a fascinating kaleidoscope of life, love and destiny. The tales that unfold are erotic, violent, supernatural and endlessly surprising. The web of tales woven by Shahrazad were exoticised and bowdlerised in the West under the title of the Arabian Nights. This adaptation unearths the true character of One Thousand and One Nights as it is in the oldest Arabic manuscripts. In turns erotic, brutal, witty, poetic and complex, the tales tell of love and marriage, power and punishment, rich and poor, and the endless trials and uncertainties of fate. The great cities and thriving trade routes of the Islamic world provide the setting for these stories that employ supernatural mystery and intense realism to portray the deep and endless drama of human experience.
Only in London
Four strangers meet on a turbulent flight from Dubai to London: Amira, a canny Moroccan prostitute; Lamis, a 30-year old Iraqi divorcee; Nicholas, an English expert on Islamic art; and Samir, a Lebanese man who is delivering a monkey on a mission he doesn’t fully understand. Once safely on British soil, Lamis and Nicholas fall in love, Samir chases after blond British youths, and Amira reinvents herself as a princess, the better to lure clients at the best London hotels. Through the city and across cultural borders, Only in London wittily portrays the smells, sounds, and sights of London’s lively Arab neighorhoods, as well as the freedoms the city both offers and withholds from its immigrants.
With the acclaim won by her first two novels, Hanan al-Shaykh established herself as the Arab world's foremost woman writer. Beirut Blues, published to similar acclaim, further confirms her place in Arabic literature, and brings her writing to a new, groundbreaking level. The daring fragmented structure of this epistolary novel mirrors the chaos surrounding the heroine, Asmahan, as she futilely writes letters to her loved ones, to her friends, to Beirut, and to the war itself--letters of lament that are never to be answered except with their own resounding echoes. In Beirut Blues, Hanan al-Shaykh evokes a Beirut that has been seen by few, and that will never be seen again.