From Publishers Weekly
The revised edition of Land of Enchanters, edited by Bernard Lewis and Stanley Burstein, is well defined by its subtitle: "Egyptian Short Stories from the Earliest Time to the Present Day." The preface is informative, as are the brief introductions to the stories, which describe the travails and triumphs of royals, heroes, spirits and monsters. Typical are "The Story of Dalal," in which a princess wedded to an ogre plans an escape, and "The Island of the Serpent," wherein a shipwrecked sailor is aided by a giant serpent "plated with gold." Sales of this slim volume could get a boost if it is assigned to high schoolers and undergraduates.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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From Library Journal
Lewis (Princeton; The Arabs in History) and Burstein (California State Univ.; ed., Ancient African Civilization: Kush and Axum) have produced a fascinating collection of Egyptian stories that span 4000 years from writers of the Middle Kingdom period (2133-1786 B.C.E.) to Nobel prize winner Naguib Mahfouz and embrace ancient, Greco-Roman, Christian, and Muslim Egypt. These stories show not only the continuity of idea and spirit in Egyptian literature but also its influence; many of the motifs of wonder and cleverness appear repeatedly in the literature of other cultures. This volume has a long history; Lewis first edited it in 1948, and Burstein has revised the introductions. Especially noteworthy are the "The Tale of the Brothers" (New Kingdom), "The Story of Khamwise" (Greco-Roman), "Of Queen Charoba of Egypt and Gebirus the Metapheguian" (Murtada ibn al-Khafif, c.1200), and "Amm Mitwalli" (Mahmud Taimur, 1894-1973). A feast of literature; highly recommended. Gene Shaw, NYPL
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.