by Jude Griffin
The best thing about my day job (I am a PhD student of medieval Turkish literature) is how my work constantly refills my creative well. While researching a paper back in 2017, I stumbled across an article that catalogued common narremes in medieval Persian fairy tales. Some of the tropes were familiar to me, such as evil stepmothers, Cinderella stories, and romances beginning with love at first sight. Others surprised me. Three in particular caught my imagination: a girl wandering into an abandoned castle in the desert, a crow with rubies for eyes, and a prince trapped in enchanted sleep, his body pierced with thousands of needles.