Industry: Arts and entertainment
Hanan Al Shaykh’s latest work is a modern retelling of the most famous piece of literature associated with the Arab world: One Thousand and One Nights. The former journalist picked through the orginal work’s 8,000 pages to find 19 of her favourite stories, which are published in both English and Arabic.
Throughout her long career, 68-year-old Al Shaykh has published a series of novels, short stories and plays, including a memoir of the life of her mother, Kamila. Al Shaykh’s works also include Women of Sand and Myrrh, The Story of Zahra and Beirut Blues.
Al Shaykh was educated in Cairo before returning to work for a Lebanese newspaper in 1975. She left the country at the outbreak of the civil war for Saudi Arabia, and then settled in London, where she is now based with her family.
Al Shaykh’s contemporary style has been compared to that of Nawal Al Saadawi, and her books have been banned in some areas of the Arab world.