A little over a thousand years ago the Persian poet Ferdowsi of Tous collected and put into heroic verse the millennium-old mythological and epic traditions of Iran. It took him thirty years to write the sixty thousand verses that comprise the Shahnameh or "The Book of Kings". This monumental work begins with legends of the birth of the Persian nationhood and ends with the Arab conquest of Iran. Written in the aftermath of that national trauma, Shahnameh was meant to harbor the Persian collective memory, language, and culture in a turbulent sea of many historical storms. Hamid Rahmanian is a 2014 John Guggenheim Fellow, filmmaker, and graphic artist whose work has been exhibited in international competitions and publications. His narrative and documentary films have premiered at festivals such as Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca, and Venice, and have gained international recognition for their socially conscious storylines. He also worked for Disney. Ahmad Sadri is currently professor of Sociology and Anthropology and James P. Gorter Chair of Islamic World Studies at Lake Forest College. He has written two books in Persian: "Reviving the Concept of Civilizations," and "An Apocalypse soon." Sheila Canby is the Patti Cadby Birch Curator in Charge of the Department of Islamic Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She lives in New York City.
"Epic Iranian tale gets intimate upgrade...For all of its many adaptations, [Shahnameh] has remained largely unknown in the west except in scholarly circles and among Iranians. But New York - based artist Hamid Rahmanian's recent illustrated rendition with translator Ahmad Sadri of, Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings could change that." The Guardian "Shahnameh, a Persian Masterpiece, Still Relevant Today." The Wall Street Journal "This edition is simply breathtaking: 600 illustrations dance across every page, each telling a story in a thousand intricate and beautiful artistic flourishes. Accompanied by a translation of the text that is charming, accessible, and rich in the nuances of the Persian language, it is a treasure that will be cherished and handed down to subsequent generations. Huffington Post