Shahnameh

Shahnameh

The Persian Book of Kings


Translator:

Format
ePub
Price
$27.99
 
Additional Formats
  • ePub
  • ISBN 9781440649660
  • 928 Pages
  • Viking Books
  • Adult

Overview

Among the great works of world literature, perhaps one of the least familiar to English readers is the Shahnameh: ThePersian Book of Kings, the national epic of Persia. This prodigious narrative, composed by the poet Ferdowsi between the years 980 and 1010, tells the story of pre- Islamic Iran, beginning in the mythic time of Creation and continuing forward to the Arab invasion in the seventh century.

As a window on the world, Shahnameh belongs in the company of such literary masterpieces as Dante’s Divine Comedy, the plays of Shakespeare, the epics of Homer— classics whose reach and range bring whole cultures into view. In its pages are unforgettable moments of national triumph and failure, human courage and cruelty, blissful love and bitter grief.

In tracing the roots of Iran, Shahnameh initially draws on the depths of legend and then carries its story into historical times, when ancient Persia was swept into an expanding Islamic empire. Now Dick Davis, the greatest modern translator of Persian poetry, has revisited that poem, turning the finest stories of Ferdowsi’s original into an elegant combination of prose and verse. For the first time in English, in the most complete form possible, readers can experience Shahnameh in the same way that Iranian storytellers have lovingly conveyed it in Persian for the past thousand years.

Praise

“Dick Davis [is] our pre-eminent translator from the Persian…Thanks to Davis’s magnificent translation, Ferdowsi and the Shahnameh live again in English.” –Michael Dirda, Washington Post

“Accessible…A poet himself, Davis brings to his translation a nuanced awareness of Ferdowsi’s subtle rhythms and cadences. His “Shahnameh” is rendered in an exquisite blend of poetry and prose, with none of the antiquated flourishes that so often mar translations of epic poetry.” –Reza Aslan (author of Zealot), New York Times Books Review

“Davis’s wonderful translation will show Western readers why Ferdowsi’s masterpiece is one of the most revered and most beloved classics in the Persian world.” –Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner

“A magnificent accomplishment . . . [Davis’s translation] is not only the fullest representation of Ferdowsi’s masterpiece in English but the best.” –The New York Sun

“Reader-friendly…essential reading” – Kirkus Review

“Marvelous . . . It represents the best of Persian culture.” –Azar Nafisi, from the foreword




 
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