Book Size: 6.5" x 6.5"

Pages: 244

Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9781623717537

Release date: Summer 2024

Categories: ,

The Jewel and the Ember

Love Stories from the Ancient Middle East


$ 26

About this book

The Jewel and the Ember is a unique collection of enchanting, enlightening, joyful, painful, and funny pre-Islamic love stories drawn from ancient sources throughout the Middle East, illustrating our eternal search for enduring love and encouraging the heart to sing.

The human soul is eternally engaged in the search for enduring love.

The Jewel and the Ember is a unique collection of compelling, enlightening, sometimes joyful, sometimes painful, often funny love stories culled from pre- Islamic folktales and poems, drawn from ancient sources throughout the Middle East, including Zoroastrian Persia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Moorish Spain, and Arabia. These eleven timeless tales resonate across cultures and ethnicities, adapted and retold (though not reinvented) from lengthy, dense translations and provide alternatives to the all-too-common Arabian Nights and other Orientalist sagas.

Here, readers will encounter strong, smart, self-sufficient women—far different from the clichéd, frequently shrouded creatures characterized in popular fables—and vulnerable men—full participants in the sufferings, longings, ecstasies, foibles, and complexities shared by all lovers.

In haunting, entertaining, richly embroidered language, The Jewel and the Ember speaks of desire, sensuality, and passion. It welcomes us into lands and societies of which few in the West are acquainted. These enchanting stories illustrate love’s universal values and encourage the heart to sing.


About the author

Jennifer Heath is an independent scholar, award-winning cultural journalist, curator, and activist. She is the author or editor of fifteen books of fiction and non-fiction, including On the Edge of Dream: The Women of Celtic Myth and Legend; The Echoing Green: The Garden in Myth and Memory; A House White with Sorrow: A Ballad for Afghanistan; The Scimitar and the Veil: Extraordinary Women of Islam; The Veil: Women Writers on its History, Lore, and Politics; Land of the Unconquerable: The Lives of Contemporary Afghan Women; Children of Afghanistan:The Path to Peace; and Book of the Disappeared: The Quest for Transnational Justice.


“Love is covered in startling breadth in The Jewel and the Ember, a shimmering anthology that gathers tales of devotion and treachery.”
Foreword Reviews


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “The Jewel and the Ember”