"Especially useful are the chronology of historical and literary events and the guide to further reading...Recommended for university and college libraries supporting the study of Arabic literature at all levels." Choice
"Roger Allen provides a comprehensive and detailed introduction to the Arabic literary heritage...The strength of this book is its ability to introduce the pivotal text and themes of an entire tradition. Indeed, Allen's presentation of the classical tradition, what might be considered the text's major achievement, provides reliable, concise and dense analyses and interpretations. The sheer breadth and range of Allen's work make it a valuable and important contribution." Arab Studies Journal
"an admirable treatment of the subject, an up-to-date command of the scholarly research, and innovative insights into the material....a gem of a book indeed." World Literature Today
Roger Allen provides a comprehensive introductory survey of literary texts in Arabic, from their unknown beginnings in the fifth century AD to the present day, and from Islam's sacred text, the Qur'an, to popular literature including The Arabian Nights and a wealth of poetry, narrative prose, drama and criticism. With extensive quotations in English translation, a chronology and a guide to further reading, this revised and abridged version of Allen's acclaimed study, The Arabic Literary Heritage, this book provides an invaluable student introduction to a major non-Western literary tradition.