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Translated into English for the very first time, A Hundred and One Nights is a marvelous example of the rich tradition of popular Arabic storytelling. Like the celebrated Thousand and One Nights, this collection opens with the frame story of Scheherazade, the vizier’s gifted daughter who recounts imaginative tales night after night in an effort to distract the murderous king from taking her life. A Hundred and One Nights features an almost entirely different set of stories, however, each one more thrilling, amusing, and disturbing than the last. Here, we encounter tales of epic warriors, buried treasure, disappearing brides, cannibal demon-women, fatal shipwrecks, and clever ruses, where human strength and ingenuity play out against a backdrop of inexorable, inscrutable fate.
Distinctly rooted in Arabic literary culture and the Islamic tradition, these tales draw on motifs and story elements that circulated across cultures, including Indian and Chinese antecedents, and features a frame story possibly older than its more famous sibling. This vibrant translation of A Hundred and One Nights promises to transport readers, new and veteran alike, into its fantastical realms of magic and wonder.