Building A Home Of Stories In 'The Bird King'

The Bird King is set during the last days of Muslim Granada, and focuses on Fatima, a royal concubine longing for freedom, and Hassan, the royal mapmaker and Fatima’s dearest friend. Hassan has a special skill: He can make beautiful, detailed maps of places he hasn’t been, and more — he can chart hidden paths that bend reality and fold the distance between a person and their destination. So long as the map exists, so does the path, and the place.

Fatima’s bondage and Hassan’s queerness allow them into each other’s society regularly, for the most part they lead quiet, unremarkable palace lives punctuated by brief escapes into the places Hassan draws and the stories they make up together, centered around the two precious pages available to them of Farid ud-Din Al Attar’s The Conference of Birds. But everything…

Original published: 2019-03-17 07:00:02 Read the full New York City News here


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