The Djinn Falls in Love: Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin edit collection of mystical short stories
Authors including Kirsty Logan, Sami Shah and Neil Gaiman take on the myth of the genie
'Djinn, jinn, genie,' reads the introduction. 'Every culture has their own interpretation.' Short story anthology The Djinn Falls in Love, edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin, uncorks conjurings of this mystical being from writers across the world including Kirsty Logan, Kamila Shamsie, Neil Gaiman and Sami Shah.
Forget cartoon Aladdin: genies do take various forms here, but along the way there's much smoke and fire, disappearance and possession, teetering on the edges of reality. Occasional forays into medieval quirk are bound to traditional myth, but the strongest blur the lines more subtly.
Monica Byrne's 'Authenticity' depicts an adult film shoot in a desert with awe, and JY Yang's 'Glass Lights' shows a lonely modern office worker who doesn't fit in with either her family or co-workers, irritated by transit dating ads. Kuzhali Manickavel's 'How We Remember You' is a particular highlight, with sun-dappled and guilty distortions of memory. It's rare to find an anthology spanning both the globe and realms beyond, and the variety is enjoyable.
Out Thu 9 Mar via Solaris.