IN ARABIAN NIGHTS: A CARAVAN OF MOROCCON DREAMS: Tahir Shah: Bantam Dell: 2008: 388 pages.
In Morocco there are many old palaces and villas for sale. Tahir Shah bought one – the former residence of the caliph of Casablanca. In this book Shah introduces neighbors, friends, houseboys, gardeners, maids, exorcists (to rid the house of jinn’s) and other colorful characters. He also shares his search for “the story in his heart.” These two story lines carry the reader from Casablanca to Fez to Tangiers and beyond.
Shah is a storyteller descended from storytellers. As he searches for the story in his heart he hears and shares tales found all over the Middle East including some unexpurgated renditions from the Arabian Nights. His book is much like exploring the bazaar in a very old city. Each page reveals something new - a story, a dusty niche with treasures for sale, a scene in the square, a cobbler’s shop, a smoky café and Shah is a witty and insightful guide.