February 27, 2024

“Monarchs’ Index”: Stories from the Worlds of One Thousand and One Nights

Monarchs’ Index

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Tales from “One Thousand and One Nights” are among the most important literary sources in Arab heritage, blending imagination and reality while shedding light on the values and traditions of Eastern societies in a unique and enjoyable style. The story of King Shahryar, the king of Persia, who lived in a bygone era, torn apart by sorrow due to his wife’s betrayal, decided to seek revenge on all women by marrying a new girl every day and executing her the following morning. Until Princess Scheherazade came along, narrating a story to him every night, taking him on a magical journey to the world of fantasy and adventure. Her tales always ended in an exciting climax, leaving him longing for more, which led him to grant her a new chance every night.

Stories leaning on the tales of “One Thousand and One Nights”

With that introduction to the tales of “One Thousand and One Nights,” I begin my review of the story collection “Monarchs’ Index” by Omani author Laila Abdullah, published by Miraya Publishing and Distribution in 2023. It revolves in a similar atmosphere to traditional tales, which we grew up reading and enjoying, blending imagination with reality in enchanting stories.

Implications of titles and quotations

The collection “Monarchs’ Index” consists of fifteen stories, themed around kingship. Starting from the title, it refers to what’s inside the book, as if the kings were a book with an index, and the index is a structured list of its subjects, used to facilitate finding and locating them. Thus, the author’s intention is for the reader to explore this index to engage with the kings.

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