The Bird King: G. Willow Wilson with N.K. Jemisin
Where: New York Public Library—Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
476 Fifth Ave.
917-275-6975 Price: Free
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Inspired in part by the Sufi poem The Conference of the Birds, The Bird King is set in Iberia at the height of the Spanish Inquisition. Fatima, the sultan’s last remaining concubine, is entertained by her best friend, Hassan, the palace mapmaker, who possesses a secret gift—the ability to make maps of places he’s never seen, and bend reality with his pen and paper. But when a party sent on behalf of the new Spanish monarchy arrives to discuss the sultan’s surrender, Fatima fears they will catch wind of Hassan’s magical ability, mistake it for sorcery, and punish him for threatening their Christian values.
In a leap of faith, the two escape the palace walls, leaving behind all that Fatima has ever known, to embark on a fantastical quest across the Iberian peninsula and out into the sea in search of safety and the mythical island of The Bird King. G. Willow Wilson will speak about writing The Bird King, and the power of imagining different worlds with Hugo Prize-winning author N.K. Jemisin.