Shahrazad’s Gift

Shahrazad’s Gift is a collection of linked short stories, set in an apartment building in contemporary Cairo, with a melange of flamboyant, unlikely characters, Egyptian and expatriate, who seem to have stepped out of A Thousand and One Nights.

“Gretchen McCullough’s latest book captures the magic and absurdity of the city and its people with a humour few local writers have managed to achieve” —Egypt Today

Release Date: February 6, 2024



Meet The Author

"When I forget about eating and don’t even realize that the day has gone by and I’m still sitting at my desk immersed in my story, that’s my true joy. There’s so much joy in writing."

Shahrazad’s Gift is a collection of linked short stories set in contemporary Cairo—magical, absurd and humorous. The author focuses on the off-beat, little-known stories, far from CNN news: a Swedish belly dancer who taps into the Oriental fantasies of her clientele; a Japanese woman studying Arabic, driven mad by the noise and chaos of the city; a frustrated Egyptian housewife who becomes obsessed by the activities of her Western gay neighbor; an American journalist who covered the civil war in Beirut who finds friendship with her Egyptian dentist. We also meet the two protagonists of McCullough’s Confessions of a Knight Errant, before their escapades in that story. These stories are told in the tradition of A Thousand and One Nights.

“Looking at cross-cultural interactions through the lens of fiction, the new collection Shahrazad’s Gift by Gretchen McCullough dives into the perspectives of her characters, exploring their inner worlds, tensions with their neighbors and navigation of the absurdities of everyday life.” —The American University in Cairo https://www.aucegypt.edu/news/cairo-through-fiction-gretchen-mccullough




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