Abolqasem Ferdowsi was born in Khorasan in a village near Tus in 940. His great epic, Shahnameh, was originally composed for the Samanid princes of Khorasan. Ferdowsi died around 1020 in poverty. Dick Davis (translator) is professor emeritus of Persian at Ohio State University and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His translations from Persian include Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz and Vis and Ramin. Azar Nafisi (foreword) is the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, Things I've Been Silent About, and The Republic of Imagination. She lives in Washington, D.C.