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The 2013 Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Arab Culture in Non-Arabic Languages' Award
is awarded to Marina Warner
for her book
Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights
published by Vintage Books (2012) and Chatto and Windus in 2011.
The author is one of the distinguished cultural historians in the world on the subject of myth, fairytale and folk narrative and art. She is a member of the British Academy, Professor of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex and President of the British Comparative Literature Association.
Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights tells the story of the Arabian Nights in western civilization from a thoroughly new and, until recently, little understood angle. Marina Warner retells a number of the tales in her own words with a verve that brings them to life in contemporary idiom. Upon these retellings she constructs a nuanced view of the ways in which the benign magic and enchantment of the stories affected the reception and ideas of magic and enchantment in the West, even during the period of the Enlightenment – a period more naturally associated with reason and science. Warner is thoroughly versed in the complex history of the Nights corpus and constructs upon this foundation a new vision of the way the West has been in thrall to images and ideas from Arab, and more generally Eastern culture in the 18th through to the 20th century.
The Sheikh Zayed Book Awards were established in 2007 in the memory of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the UAE. The awards, in different literary categories, are presented each year to outstanding writers, literary figures and intellectuals, and publishers whose published works have enriched Arab cultural, literary and social life.
For the full press announcement of the 2013 winners of the Sheikh Zayed Book Awards click here