Back to Winners

Arab Culture in Other Languages 2013

Marina Warner

United Kingdom

Marina Warner is a writer of fiction and cultural history. Warner was brought up in Egypt, Belgium, and Cambridge, England. She is specialized in mythology and fairy-tales, with an emphasis on the part women play in them. Her award-winning books include” Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary” (1976), “Joan of Arc: The Image of Female Heroism” (l982), “From the Beast to the Blonde” (1994). In l994 she gave the BBC Reith Lectures on the theme of Six Myths of Our Time. Her recent books include “Stranger Magic Charmed States” and “The Arabian Nights”. She also writes fiction: “The Lost Father” (l988). Warner is a Fellow of the British Academy and currently works as a Professor of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex. Warner’s forthcoming books include: “The Symbol Gives Rise to Thought Writings on Art Violette Editions”, and “Fairy Tale: A Very Short Introduction” Oxford University Press, 2014.

About The Book

The author is one of the distinguished cultural historians in the world on the subject of myth, fairytale and folk narrative and art. Her book tells the story of the Arabian Nights in Western Civilization from a thoroughly new and, until recently, little understood angle. 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. She 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.

Published: 2012