One Thousand and One Nights are the never-ending stories told by Shahrazad under sentence of death to King Shahrayar. Maddened by the discovery of his wife's orgies, King Shahrayar vows to marry a virgin every night and kill her in the morning. To survive, his newest wife Shahrazad spins a web of tales each night, leaving the King in suspense when morning comes, prolonging her life for another day. Gathered from India, Persia and across the great Arab empire, these mesmerising stories tell of the real and the supernatural, love and marriage, power and punishment, wealth and poverty, and the endless trials and uncertainties of fate. Retold by Hanan al-Shaykh, One Thousand and One Nights are revealed in an intoxicating new voice.
Hanan al-Shaykh is one of the contemporary Arab world's most acclaimed writers. She was born in Lebanon and brought up in Beirut, before going to Cairo to receive her education. She was a successful journalist in Beirut, then later lived in the Arabian Gulf, before moving to London. She is the author of the collection I Sweep the Sun off Rooftops and her novels include The Story of Zahra, Women of Sand and Myrrh, Beirut Blues and Only in London, shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Most recently she published the acclaimed memoir of her mother's life, The Locust and the Bird. Hanan al-Shaykh lives in central London.