Robert Irwin has taught Arabic and Middle Eastern History at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London. Publisher and novelist, he is also the Middle East editor for the Times Literary Supplement and a prolific author.
'Out of a mind like a Middle Eastern bazaar - overflowing with spicy pungencies and brilliant bits and pieces - he spills, in the course of recounting an extraordinary tale, an enthralling cascade of the arcane and the exotic'. - Peter Kemp, Sunday Times 'A generous and erudite book...We're in the company of someone who loves The Arabian Nights, and who has generously shared that love with us through this companion.' - Michele Roberts, Independent on Sunday 'Superlative...just the sort of relaxed, informative book that Edmund Wilson might have written had he grown interested in the Middle East and its early literature.' - Michael Dirda, Washington Post 'Irwin organizes his material like a good storyteller...he gives us the crystallized sum of The Nights: ancedote, history, moral fable, aphorism, story after story, wonder upon wonder. This monumental, infinitely faceted gem should be every writer's bedtime sampler.' - Michael Moorcock, New Statesman & Society 'A work both learned and witty...Robert Irwin has wonderfully deepened the pleasures and the interest in reading The Arabian Nights as a supreme work of imaginative fiction.' - Marina Warner,TLS