Sunday, December 14, 2008

Book Review: Scheherazade Goes West

The author of this book, Fatema Mernissi, is a professor of sociology at the University of Mohammed V in Rabat, Morocco. She tells of her personal findings relating to the literature of Scheherazade.

I felt the book was a bit scattered, and couldn't decide why she had written it. She does share some of Scheherazade's individual stories, but mostly talks about eastern feminism and Muslin literature. Scholars familiar with Muslim storytelling will probably enjoy the book more than general readers like myself. I did enjoy Mernissi's research and accounts on Scheherazade, and the history of One thousand and one nights.

The story of One thousand and one nights is about a Persian queen who betrays her king, Shahrayar, with a man servant. The king kills them both, and in revenge, marries a virgin every night, killing the young woman in the morning. So who was Scheherazade? She was the daughter of the king's "Vizier," who decides to save her country women by marrying the king. She stays alive by keeping the king interested in her nightly storytelling.

Interesting concept, eh?

1 comment:

agoodwitchtoo said...

The story of "One thousand and one nights" sounds really interesting! Bet she had to be on top of her game :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...