The magnificent title story of this collection of fairy tales for adults describes the strange and uncanny relationship between its extravagantly intelligent heroine--a world renowned scholar of the art of story-telling--and the marvelous being that lives in a mysterious bottle, found in a dusty shop in an Istanbul bazaar. As A.S. Byatt renders this relationship with a powerful combination of erudition and passion, she makes the interaction of the natural and the supernatural seem not only convincing, but inevitable.
The companion stories in this collection each display different facets of Byatt's remarkable gift for enchantment. They range from fables of sexual obsession to allegories of political tragedy; they draw us into narratives that are as mesmerizing as dreams and as bracing as philosophical meditations; and they all us to inhabit an imaginative universe astonishing in the precision of its detail, its intellectual consistency, and its splendor.
"A dreamy treat.... It is not merely strange, it is wondrous."
-- Boston Globe
"Alternatingly erudite and earthy, direct and playful.... If Scheherazade ever needs a break, Byatt can step in, indefinitely."
-- Chicago Tribune
"Byatt's writing is crystalline and splendidly imaginative.... These [are] perfectly formed tales."
-- Washington Post Book World
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye|
|Release Date: 10-21-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye
There was once a little tailor, a good and unremarkable man, who happened to be journeying through a forest, in search of work perhaps, for in those days men travelled great distances to make a meagre living, and the services of a fine craftsman, like our hero, were less in demand than cheap and cobbling hasty work that fitted ill and lasted only briefly. He believed he should come across someone who would want his skills -- he was an incurable optimist, and imagined a fortunate meeting around every corner, though how that should come about was hard to see, as he advanced farther and farther into the dark, dense trees, where even the moonlight was split into dull little needles of bluish light on the moss, not enough to see by. But he did come upon the little house that was waiting for him, in a clearing in the depths, and was cheered by the lines of yellow light he could see between and under the shutters. He knocked boldly on the door of this house, and there was a rustling, and creaking, and the door opened a tiny crack, and there stood a little man, with a face as grey as morning ashes, and a long woolly beard the same colour.
'I am a traveller lost in the woods,' said the little tailor, 'and a master craftsman, seeking work, if any is to be found.'
'I have no need for a master craftsman,' said the little grey man. 'And I am afraid of thieves. You cannot come in here.'
'If I were a thief I could have forced my way in, or crept secretly in,' said the little tailor. 'I am an honest tailor in need of help.'
Now behind th...