At the height of the Timbuctoo mania, two hundred years ago, it was widely believed that the distant Saharan city was fashioned in entirety from the purest gold.
One winter night in 1815, a young illiterate American seaman named Robert Adams was discovered half-naked and starving on the snow-bound streets of London. His skin seared from years in the African desert, he claimed to have been taken to Timbuctoo as a white slave. Closing ranks against their unwelcome American guest, the British Establishment lampooned his tale, and began a campaign of discrediting him, one that continues even today. An astonishing tale based on true-life endurance, Timbuctoo is one of greatest love stories ever told.
Scorpion Soup synopsis:
As a child I was told stories from morning till night. I was told stories about genies and witches and about great birds that could carry away elephants on their wings… and stories about distant kingdoms and magical lands ruled by warrior-kings. I was told stories of good and bad… and stories of hope and others of despair. I was even told stories about stories. And all the while, I listened, amazed.
The more I listened, the more my mind worked. And the more I came to understand that these stories had a power about them, a secret life-blood all of their own. They were magical instruments, secret machineries that could alter states of mind and change the way we think. Stories are part of the default programming of Man. They are within us all, born into us, and they make us who we are – they make us human. Since earliest childhood, I have feasted on these stories, especially those contained in The Thousand and One Nights. A treasury of storytelling and culture that is in itself a labyrinth of worlds, The Nights conjures realms more fantastical than any other I know.
What I like best is when there are tales concealed within tales – interwoven, complex, mesmerizing to the senses and the soul. To descend down through the layers of stories is to be reborn, into a dominion of fantasy, one touched by real magic. Scorpion Soup is a small hymn to The Thousand and One Nights… and to the stories that have made me who I am.
Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. The contest will end on Saturday, October 19th, at 11:59pm EST, and the winner will be emailed on October 20th and have 24 hours to respond, or a new winner will be chosen. Both books are print copies, and Timbuctoo is a limited edition hardcover with pull-out maps. U.S./Canada residents only, please.
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