Selector: Karen Liston
The Arabian Nights (Alif Layla wa Layla or ألف ليلة وليلة in Arabic) are among the most well-known stories in the world. Their authorship, and exact country-of-origin unknown, they are the fantastic legends on which many westerners' impressions of the historical Middle East are based. I invite you to come browse the book display on the first floor of the Purdy-Kresge Library, pick up a copy (or find one online below), read a tale or two, and attend the program on September 19 (details below). These marvelous tales and illustrations strike a chord - of the familiar, fantastic, exciting, adventurous, clever, titillating, - and sometimes even instructive - nature of the best storytelling. More resources relating to the Arabian Nights and other tales from the Middle East can be found below.
PBS' "Invitation to World Literature - 1001 Nights"
This introduction is from the PBS series "Invitation To World Literature - 1001 Nights". Literary and cultural experts join producers Aly Jetha and Shabnam Rezaei as they talk about the famous book of 1001 Nights and how it has influenced their lives and why they decided to produce the animated cartoon series "1001 Nights" for children.
The original 1001 Nights framing story about King Shahryar and the famous story teller Shahrzad (Scheherzade) is discussed, as are other works that have used the literature as a source of inspiration, such as Rimsky-Korsakov's famous composed music piece by the same name.
The electronic editions below are recommended for their readability and are representative of specific editions and translations. Copies for donwloading in various formats can be found in the Libraries' Catalog. Scroll down this page (right column) for a free electronic version available to all.
You'll find books about The Arabian Nights, as well as books about other Middle Eastern tales, below.