Denys Johnson-Davies Island of the Animals

ISBN 13: 9780292740365

Island of the Animals

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9780292740365: Island of the Animals

When a shipwreck results in humans landing on an island inhabited by animals, the animals bring a "case" before a judge because of the humans' self-centered arrogance toward the animals.

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About the Author:

Denys Johnson-Davies has lived much of his life in the Middle East and has published fifteen volumes of modern Arabic literature. He lives in Cairo, Abu Dhabi, and Spain. Roger Allen is Professor of Arabic Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of "The Arabic Novel" (1994) and "Modern Arabic Literature" (1987).

From School Library Journal:

Gr 6-12-Based on a 10th-century Islamic text, this prescient fable pits animals against exploitative humans blinkered by their sense of superiority. Although the narrative opens with an exciting shipwreck, in which men land on an island inhabited only by beasts, the bulk of the tale is taken up by the ``case'' brought by the animals against the human intruders. A representative of each of the seven types of creatures (domestic, predator, birds, insects, etc.) comes before a judge (the devoutly Muslim king of the Djinn) to testify. The self-centered arrogance of the humans' case is reflected in the bee's observation that ``it is well known about man that he never sees anybody else's point of view.'' The merits of both groups are nevertheless even until the end, when the men point out that they alone have been promised immortality by Allah. The Djinn grants their superiority, while insisting firmly on humankind's responsibility for all its actions. Although the text is entertaining, it remains at heart a theological treatise, designed to teach readers some basic tenets of Islam. Those values are clearly set forth in the informative introduction, which draws on a number of Arabic sources to support its view that Islamic philosophy enjoins human accountability and the sharing of the Earth with all creation.-Patricia Dooley (Green), St. George's School, Newport,

Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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