Participate with Tessa Gratton & Kate Elliott on The SHAHNAMEH Reading Project


Kate Elliott and Tessa Gratton plan on reading the entire SHAHNAMEH
(THE PERSIAN BOOK OF KINGS) by Abolqasem Ferdowsi in 2016. The national epic of Iran, SHAHNAMEH, written in the late 10th and early 11th centuries C.E., is one of the great books of world literature.

Elliot explains the project.

When I tweeted a photo on Twitter of the cover of the Dick Davis translation of the Shahnameh, which I had decided to read, writer Tessa Gratton replied that she had that very book sitting on her desk but hadn’t started it yet.

From this serendipitous exchange our project bloomed.

Here’s how it will go.

We plan to read the book in 42 segments (listed below), ranging in page count from 6 – 40 pages per week but averaging about 20. A 42 segment plan allows us to miss the occasional week due to vacation, illness, urgent deadline, and the dreaded etcetera, and still have a reasonable chance of completing the epic by the end of the year.

Each week we will exchange a few comments, add a link related to the epic, the narrative, the history, the author, the translator, or anything, really, that strikes us as interesting and illuminating. This is casual, done for our own pleasure, and not meant to be academic or scholarly although we hope to learn more about the history of this amazing epic and its author as we go.


Kate Elliot and Tessa Gratton

She even outlines an ambitious 42 week reading schedule. The post ends with an invitation.

To join us (and we hope you will), read along. You can start now, or join in AT ANY TIME throughout the year. If you want to send us a link to related material, we will GLADLY include it in one of the weekly posts. The more the merrier.

For more about The Shahnameh Reading Project, visit I MAKE UP WORLDS.