A thousand times and more!

Some books hook you instantly with their covers -- perhaps, like this one that comes with dreamy embossed gold letters nudging the child in us to imagine tales that belong to the world of fascination and  timelessness.

One Thousand and One Nights
One Thousand and One Nights, Hanan Al-Shaykh, Bloomsbury India, Rs 450. Available at leading bookstores.

Having never had the opportunity to read the Arabian book,  One Thousand and One Nights arrived one fine day in a retold avatar by the Lebanese writer Hanan al-Shaykh, on our desks.

Hardly 200-page long, it looked like an inviting read that would only require a day. Breathless, riveting and addictive where stories inside stories keep unfolding after a couple of pages, the retelling left us as breathless and enraptured as Sharyar, the king who is cuckolded and vows to deflower a virgin every night and behead her the next morning until he meets Scheherazade, the raconteur who unfolds these many tales to avoid death. From scholars to readers, this feminist retelling will leave you in a tizzy as soon as you finish it where you won’t know its tail from its head.

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