How can one interact with stories written a thousand years ago? How can one recast their literary aesthetics visually? What we have done in this collection, Weaving Words: Fiction and Fantasy, is choose stories that do not rely on familiar sorts of characterization and construction, the better to highlight their originality. The first part is about setting out on journeys of promise and exploration, criss-crossing between the worlds of high eloquence and fantastical geography. The second part contains stories where the plot and Fate itself are embodied in physical things. In the third part, all the characters are disguised, or shape-shifters. Jana Traboulsi’s distinctive black-and-white illustrations mirror the stories’ unfamiliarity.
This volume offers a taste of the rich Arabic literary heritage. We hope that it will appeal to our readers and become part of their literary consciousness and thought-world. It is the first in a series designed especially for a young audience under the aegis of New York University’s Library of Arabic Literature, which aims to bring the Arabic classics to a wide readership as a source of discovery and personal enrichment.
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