The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye: Five Fairy Stories (Vintage International) (Paperback)
Includes the story “The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye”—the basis for the George Miller film Three Thousand Years of Longing starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton
A.S. Byatt portrays the strange relationship between an intelligent heroine—a world-renowned scholar of the art of storytelling—and the marvelous being that lives in a bottle, found in a dusty shop in an Istanbul bazaar. As Byatt renders the relationship between the woman and the being 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 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
"Those new to the world of Byatt might well begin here, with these tales-within-tales, which one can read as anything from contemporary allegories—such as the superb Dragon's Breath, evoking every idyll that ever fell foul of war or famine—to sheer celebrations of storytelling itself." —Vogue
"The familiar elements of fairy story come to life under A.S. Byatt's touch . . . with lightness, precision, grace." —Observer
"A cerebral extravaganza, bristling with ideas." —Spectator
"The fairy story is obviously a form that fascinates A.S. Byatt, it suits her spare, cool prose and this collection enables her to create very different effects . . . a beautifully produced book." —Financial Times
"As with all of Byatt's work, there is a fierce intelligence at play, and beautifully nuanced prose." —Publisher's Weekly