Thumbs up for The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye: Five Fairy Stories by A. S. Byatt. Short stories.
This was a recommendation from a friend and boy, was she right. I am grateful that there are people alive who can still write like this – I say “still,” because this style is 19th century, the best of the 19th century in fact, full of long elegant sentences, replete with allusions, and unafraid of paragraphs that take up a page. This collection contains two good fairytales, one very good fairytale, one satisfying parable, and one extremely excellent novelette about a brilliant woman academic and a Djinn. This was a good introduction to Byatt, and now I can’t wait to read Possession. A dreamy and beautiful read I highly recommend–if you are the right kind of reader. You will know, I think, if you are. (This book is not reliably available from independent bookstores now, though I’m pleased to say the two best stories are included in Medusa’s Ankles, which just got a new release.)
‘If I was a postmodernist punster,’ said Gillian, ‘I would make something of Haghia Sophia. She has got old, she has turned into a Hag. But I can’t, because I respect etymologies, it means holy. “Hag” is my word, a northern word, nothing to do with here.’
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