Award-winning Syrian author Shahla Ujayli’s “A Bed for the King’s Daughter” is an extraordinary short-story collection of 22 fictional tales.

Labeled as “too short” or “not Arab enough,” Hussain said that the collection went beyond what was on the page, inspiring readers to explore what was unsaid and unwritten.

What if you had a magic pearl tree?

The pearl tree stood alone in the center of a poor man’s garden. It dropped iridescent pearls every morning, but if the man got too close, branches whipped out to slap him. Pearls at his feet, and not one to sell in the markets. Still, the man tried every so often to snatch just one pearl. But each effort left him with a welt across the face and a gash on his arm. One day, the man grew so angry he decided to cut down the tree....