The Persian epic that inspired Eric Clapton's unforgettable love song "Layla" and that Lord Byron called "the Romeo and Juliet of the East," in a masterly new translation


The iconic love story of the Middle East, by a twelfth-century Persian poet who has been compared to Shakespeare for his subtlety, inventiveness, and dramatic force, Layli and Majnun tells of star-crossed lovers whose union is tragically thwarted by their families and whose passion continues to ripple out across the centuries. Theirs is a love that lasts a lifetime, and in Nezami's immortal telling, erotic longing blends with spiritual self-denial in an allegory of Sufi aspiration, as the amenities of civilization give way to the elemental wilderness, desire is sublimated into a mystical renunciation of the physical world, and the soul confronts its essence. This is a tour de force of Persian literature, in a translation that captures the extraordinary power and virtuosity of the original.

This audiobook includes a PDF that contains notes from the book.
“A highly engaging tale of impossible love . . . The first verse translation of the 12th-century Persian poet Nezami . . . Davis’s rhythmic translation is full of lush imagery.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Nezami . . . paints a visionary world full of erotic tension and trepidation which is both sublimated and enriched with psychological chiaroscuro.” ―Italo Calvino