Shahnameh by Abolqasem Ferdowsi
The Persian Book of Kings

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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.


About Abolqasem Ferdowsi

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Abolqasem Ferdowsi (940–1020) is the preeminent poet in the Persian language and one of the greatest poets of his time in any language.Dick Davis is the premier translator of Persian poetry at work today.Azar Nafisi is the author of the bestselling Reading Lolita in Tehran.
Published March 2, 2006 by Viking. 940 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, History. Fiction

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Western readers should welcome this "huge panorama of conflict and epic adventure," announced as the fullest prose translation yet of the 11th-century national epic of Persia (now Iran).

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Shahnameh: The Persian Book o...

Publishers Weekly

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Composed more than a thousand years ago, this national epic of Persia tells the story of Iran from the first lord of the world, Kayumars, through the seventh-century Arab/Islamic conquest of the S

Feb 27 2006 | Read Full Review of Shahnameh: The Persian Book o...

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