The Persian Sensation Reading List
Because Edward FitzGerald's Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám was published so widely in the twentieth century, hundreds of editions, many illustrated, are available for little cost in your local used bookstore.
An excellent scholarly variorum edition, including all of FitzGerald's editions, scholarly apparatus, and a glossary of Persian pronunciation, is Christopher Decker, ed., Edward FitzGerald, The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: A Critical Edition (University of Virginia Press, 1997).
You can also read FitzGerald's Rubáiyát in all five versions at the eComma Collaborative Rubáiyát.
Books about the Rubáiyát
Martin and Mason, The Art of Omar Khayyám: Illustrating FitzGerald's
Rubáiyát (I. B. Tauris, 2007)
Ali Dashti, In Search of Omar Khayyám (Columbia University Press, 1971)
Garry Garrard, A Book of Verse: A Biography of the Rubáiyát of Omar
Khayyám (History Press, 2007). A general reader's history of the
Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám.
Amin Maalouf, Samarkand (Interlink World Fiction, 1998). This fictional tale
imagines what might have happened if an original manuscript of poems
by Khayyám had endured from the eleventh century until the sinking
of the Titanic.
Books about important themes in the exhibition
Denis Wright, The English Amongst the Persians: Imperial Lives in
Nineteenth-Century Iran (I. B. Tauris, 2001 [revised edition])
John D. Yohannan, Persian Poetry in England and America: A 200-year
history (Caravan Books, 1977)
Edward Said, Orientalism (Pantheon, 1978)
Daniel Martin Varisco, Reading Orientalism: Said and the Unsaid (University
of Washington Press, 2007)
Holly Edwards, Noble Dreams, Wicked Pleasures: Orientalism in America,
1870–1930 (Princeton University Press, 2000)
Leigh Schmidt, Restless Souls: The Making of American Spirituality, from
Emerson to Oprah (HarperOne, 2006)
Jackson Lears, Fables of Abundance: A Cultural History of Advertising in
America (Basic Books, 1995)
Lawrence Levine. Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy
in America (Harvard University Press, 1990)
"The Persian Sensation: 'The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám' in the West" explores how a translation of a Persian poem went from obscurity to celebrity in British and American culture