Award-winning poet and translator Yasmine Seale joins us to discuss her striking, contemporary translation of the world’s most famous story collection, which breaks away from the masculine dynasty that has weighed it down for generations. 

The Annotated Arabian Nights is the first English translation of the collection by a woman and includes stories with female protagonists that have been omitted from so many previous editions. 

Yasmine is joined by writer, critic and expert on foreign-language literature Boyd Tonkin to discuss how her modern translation wrestles with the complex origins of the stories to reclaim the vitality and delight within for dedicated readers and newcomers alike. 

Join us to find out more about the lasting cultural impact of the 1001 Nights in this discussion chaired by journalist Sarah Shaffi.

About The Authors

Headshot of author Yasmine Seale stood on a sunny tree lined road

Yasmine Seale

Yasmine Seale is a writer and literary translator living in Paris. Her essays, poetry, visual art, and translations from Arabic and French have appeared widely. She is the author, with Robin Moger, of Agitated Air: Poems after Ibn Arabi (Tenement Press, 2022). Other work includes Aladdin: a New Translation (2018) and The Annotated Arabian Nights (2021), both out from W. W. Norton. She has received a PEN America Literary Grant and the Wasafiri New Writing Prize for Poetry.

Boyd Tonkin

Boyd Tonkin is an award-winning journalist who currently writes on literature and culture for The Financial Times, The Economist, Newsweek and The Spectator. He was previously Literary Editor and then Senior Writer at The Independent, where he re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and judged the award for 15 years. He chaired the jury of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize, and now serves as the prize’s Special Adviser.

About The Chair

Headshot of Sarah Shaffi

Sarah Shaffi

Sarah Shaffi is a freelance literary journalist and editor. She writes about books for Stylist Magazine online, is books editor at Phoenix, and is editor-at-large at independent publisher Little Tiger Group. She regularly chairs author events, and is co-founder of BAME in Publishing, a networking group for people of colour in publishing.