Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Scheherazade, Sheherazade, Shahrazad... whatever you call her, however you spell her name, she was an amazing woman. Yeah, I know, she wasn't real... but still. The heroine of the Arabian Nights. Smart, brave, and beautiful, she managed to do the impossible: help her husband, Shahrayar of Samarkand, learn to love again. And all by telling him bedtime stories.

Even though I haven't actually read the Arabian Nights stories (well, I've read a couple of them - Aladdin, Sinbad the Sailor, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves...), I still find her fascinating. One of my favourite books ever is called The Storyteller's Daughter, by Cameron Dokey, and it's about - you guessed it - Scheherazade. But it's different from other stories about her. This book has a fairy-tale quality to it, but with a uniquely 'Eastern' flavour. It tells the story not of the Arabian Nights, but of Scheherazade herself and her relationship with Shahrayar, how it started and how it grew until it blossomed into love. Shahrayar isn't portrayed as cruel or evil, as many people try to make him seem, but more as someone whose heart was broken to the point that he felt that he could never love any woman ever again - but of course he's proven wrong.

Mind you, I'm not usually one for romance - I like action and adventure (with lots of fantasy thrown in), but I also have a weakness for fairy tales and retellings of fairy tales. The Storyteller's Daughter has everything. Action, adventure, tales of wit and wonder, in a faraway land of silk and jewels and gossamer, and, of course, a handsome king and beautiful queen who fall in love.

It is, quite simply, fantastic.


DA said...

Have you read "The Time Traveller's Wife" by any chance? Amazing book. Trouble is, I can never describe it to anyone without it sounding boring and whack, even to me. If you like fantasy and events, with some romance done in a totally non-trite, unsugared ways....You should check it out.

AnonyMouse said...

No, I haven't read it, but it seems really interesting (I Googled it :P)... I'm going to see if they have it at my library!

Stern Gang said...

I've heard of her before, some Jewish woman implied that "Sherazad" or however you spell her name, was Jewish.

Anyway first time visiting your homepage so hi ;)

AnonyMouse said...

No, Scheherazade was a Persian name... Sassanid, actually.

And hi to you, too! :)
You're one of the dudes from the Angry Arab blog, aren't you, stern gang?

Stern Gang said...

yes I am, but I don't post on Stern Gang on the AA blog any longer. I haven't done so for a couple of months. I now post on Anomalous.

Actually, a name inspired by anonymous(e), formerly anonymous, anonym etc.,

AnonyMouse said...

Ah, okay... :)

Anonymous said...

Asalamalaykom MM,

Have you seen the movie Arabian Nights from 2000? John Leguizamo, Jason Scott Lee, Alan Bates, James Frain and Mili Avital as your heroine. Really good. Here's what a reviewer said on Netflix:

I didn't expect a whole lot from this TV mini-series... but when I watched the DVD I was quite pleasantly surprised! Of course, it doesn’t go through the whole thousand nights and a night, but it hits some of the most famous of the stories while keeping faithful to the framework of the story of Scheherezade and her mad sultan with a slightly modern angle on the source of the sultan’s madness. There are lots of good laughs, excellent special effects, and great themes in this one. I would highly recommend this DVD to anyone!

AnonyMouse said...

Wa 'alaikumus-salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatu, HA! :)

Nope, I haven't even heard of it... in fact, just the other day I was telling my mom that someone ought to make a new movie about the Arabian Nights!
Thanks for the suggestion, and I'll look for it! :)