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A magical tour de force by a writer at the height of her powers, When Dreams Travel weaves round Scheherazade—or Shahrzad of the thousand and one nights—a vibrant, inventive story about that old game that’s never played out: the quest for love and power. The curtain opens on four figures, two men and two women. There is the sultan who wants a virgin every night; there is his brother, who makes an enemy of darkness and tries to banish it; and there are their ambitious brides, the sisters Shahrzad and Dunyazad, aspiring to be heroines—or martyrs. Travelling in and out of these lives to spellbinding effect is a range of stories, dark, poetic and witty by turns, spanning medieval to contemporary times. With its sharp and lively blend of past and present, its skilful reworking of the historical tradition, and its controlled use of evocative language, Githa Hariharan’s multi-voiced narrative assumes the significance of modern myth. Printed Pages: 288.