1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Persian Literary Translation

    The Routledge Handbook of Persian Literary Translation offers a detailed overview of the field of Persian literature in translation, discusses the development of the field, gives critical expression to research on Persian literature in translation, and brings together cutting-edge theoretical and practical research. The book is divided into the following three parts: (I) Translation of Classical Persian Literature, (II) Translation of Modern Persian Literature, and (III) Persian Literary Translation in Practice.

    The chapters of the book are authored by internationally renowned scholars in the field, and the volume is an essential reference for scholars and their advanced students as well as for those researching in related areas and for independent translators of Persian literature.






    Pouneh Shabani-Jadidi, Patricia J. Higgins, and Michelle Quay


    1. Barbad's Song

    Dick Davis

    2. Rumi and Hafez: Reflections on Translation

    Geoffrey Squires

    3. The Crowded Borderlands of an Iconic ‘Translation’: Material and Immaterial Paratext of FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

    Christine van Ruymbeke

    4. Classical Persian Poetry and World Literature: The Case of Hafez

    Alireza Anushiravani

    5. Making Sense of Persian Ethics in English: The Case of Jami’s Baharistan

    Gregory Maxwell Bruce

    6. Challenges of and Strategies for Translating Indo-Persian Poetry: The Case of Bedil (1644-1720)

    Hajnalka Kovacs

    7. Sa‘di’s Gulistan in British India: A Provocation

    Alexander Jabbari


    8. The Persian Short Story and its Histories of Translation

    Amy Motlagh

    9. Translation of Persian Drama into English

    Behrooz Mahmoodi-Bakhtiari

    10. White Rabbits of Wonderland: Scenes from Translating and Teaching Persian Theatre

    Marjan Moosavi

    11. Gender and Canonization in Contemporary Persian Short Story Anthologies, 1980 to 2020

    Michelle Quay

    12. Mirroring the "Orient" in Words: Persian Prose Fiction in Translation in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

    Pegah Shahbaz

    13. Color’s Fracture: Translating Fugitive Experience in Early Modern Persian Poetry

    Jane Mikkelson

    14. What Does Translation Mean in the Age of Colonial Modernity?

    Aria Fani


    15. Teaching the Practice of Literary Translation: A Personal Perspective

    M. R. Ghanoonparvar

    16. "This Being Human is a Guest House": Reflections on Coleman Barks' Translations of Jalal al-Din Rumi's Poetry

    Ali-Asghar Seyed-Gohrab

    17. Use of Translations of Classic Persian Poems in the Study of Persian

    Michael Craig Hillmann

    18. The Cultural Translatability of Betweenness: Reading the Literature of the Iranian Diaspora

    Persis M. Karim

    19. A Linguistic Perspective on Persian Literary Translation

    Pouneh Shabani-Jadidi

    20. Persian Poetry in the Second-World Translation System

    Samuel Hodgkin




    Pouneh Shabani-Jadidi is Instructional Professor of Persian in the Department of Near Eastern Language and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, USA. She holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Ottawa, Canada (2012) as well as a Ph.D. in applied linguistics with a focus on translation from Tehran Azad University, Iran (2004). She has published on a variety of topics including translation, linguistics, and second language acquisition. In addition, she has translated several books from Persian to English. She is the editor of The Routledge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy of Persian and co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Persian Linguistics.

    Patricia J. Higgins is University Distinguished Service Professor Emerita at SUNY Plattsburgh, USA. She received a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1974. Besides an eighteen-month ethnographic study of education and socialization in Tehran, she spent ten months as a Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Tehran, Iran. She is co-translator, with Pouneh Shabani-Jadidi, of Hafez in Love: A Novel by Iraj Pezeshkzad. At SUNY Plattsburgh, she served as a faculty member, an associate vice president, and then interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.

    Michelle Quay is Visiting Lecturer of Persian at Brown University, USA. She has taught Persian language and literature at the University of Chicago, USA, Columbia University, USA, and the University of Cambridge, UK. As a Gates Cambridge Scholar, she undertook research for her dissertation on depictions of gender in premodern Persian literature, particularly in the writings of Farid al-Din Attar and other early Sufi mystics. She was awarded her doctorate from Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, in 2018.

    ’'Historically translation has played a pivotal role in the circulation and dissemination of Persian literature, yet the processes and practices of translation have never been the subject of such a comprehensive and systematic study. The Routledge Handbook of Persian Literary Translation breaks new ground by bringing together enriching and insightful analyses that illuminate the history and the array of practices that deepen our understanding of Persian literature in translation. The editors, Pouneh Shabani-Jadidi, Michelle Quay, and Patricia J. Higgins,and their contributors, have rendered an extraordinary service to scholars, students, and translators of Persian which will have a lasting impact on the study of Persian, World Literature, and Translation Studies.’’ Nasrin Rahimieh, Howard Baskerville Professor of Humanities, UC Irvine

    ''For centuries, the practice of translation has contributed to the development and reinvention of Persian as a global language and a source of cultural inspiration in the vast arena of world literature. By focusing on translation as a deeper foray into the study of the circulation of old and new forms and meanings across languages, the Routledge Handbook of Persian Literary Translation fills a major gap in the fields of Persian studies and comparative literature. Among the many studies featured in this accessible book, experienced specialists of the art of translating classical and modern Persian poetry meet the new generation of scholars whose contributions will radically steer the field toward new exciting ways of reading and interpreting the Persian literary heritage of Afghanistan, India, and Iran.'' Domenico Ingenito, Associate Professor of Persian Literature, University of California, Los Angeles

    ''This edited volume brings together a diverse group of established and emerging practitioners in the field of Persian literary translation. Together, they examine for us not only the challenges, but also the joys experienced by those who translate premodern and modern Persian poetry and prose.'' Dominic Parviz Brookshaw, Associate Professor of Persian Literature, University of Oxford, UK