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Upcoming Projects for 2013

I’ve been posting on my Facebook page about upcoming projects for the first half of 2013, without sharing too much detail. I’d like to include a quick overview of things to come:


I’ll have an article coming out in Newsweek (now online only), in the next couple of months. I’ll post on Facebook as soon as it’s online.

Backlist ebooks

I’ll be releasing ebooks from my backlist starting very soon. We’re still working on the cover art, but they’ll be coming out one by one in the next couple of months.


I’ll be speaking at the literary festival there, so if you’re based in or near Lithuania, I’d love to see you.

Scorpion Soup limited edition hardcover

This is now available for pre-order over at the Scorpion Soup website, and books will be shipping out in late March. There are purchase options for both the US and the UK, which is where the books will be warehoused. If you’re in another country and would like a copy, please contact me and I’ll let you know what the extra shipping fees are. I’m trying to keep the cost down on this book by offering it only on my website.

You can also enter one of two contests on Goodreads for a chance to win a copy of the limited edition hardcover. There is a contest for US readers and one for UK readers.

Scorpion Soup en español

We’re also working on a Spanish translation of my recent release, Scorpion Soup. It’s over half-way finished, and then will go into editing before its release. It should be out fairly soon, and I’ll be sure to post on my Facebook page when it’s available.

Casablanca Blues

This is one of my upcoming releases for 2013. I’ve completed the first draft, and it’s being edited now.

Blaine Williams is a thirty-something New Yorker with an mid-life crisis and an obsession of the movie Casablanca. His world collapsing around him, he flees to the one place he thinks he knows and understands. A fragment of security in his troubled imagination, Casablanca the genuine article reveals itself as a roller coaster ride of danger, intrigue, and true love — a realm where nothing is what it seems.

Eye Spy

This is another of my upcoming releases for 2013. I’m half-way through the first draft on this.

While in Central Asia saving the sight of a debauched dictator, Dr. Robert Kaine, the greatest eye surgeon of his generation, unwittingly tastes a pie filled with cooked human eyes. Rather than being revolted by the dish, he adores it, and finds that it has an astonishing and ameliorating effect on the psyche. As the craving sets in, he will stop at nothing to get more of the illicit food.

Against a backdrop of an epidemic eye disorder called Occulosis, that threatens making everyone alive blind, Kaine is the one man who can save human sight… while robbing anyone he can of their eyes.


Timbuctoo Holiday Sales

Timbuctoo book cover straight on 600pxSeveral people have emailed me lately requesting bulk pricing for Timbuctoo so they can purchase multiple copies for the holidays. I’ve spoken with my warehouse people, and they said that orders need to be in by tomorrow, 18th of December at the latest in order to reach you by the holidays. Because we’ll be selling these directly, we can offer a huge discount on the books.

Regular UK pricing of Timbuctoo is £29.99, currently available on Amazon at a discount of £25.49. We can offer you the bulk price of £20 for 5, 10, or more books (in multiples of 5).

Regular USA pricing of Timbuctoo is $49.99, currently available on Amazon at the same price. We can offer you the bulk price of $33 for 5, 10, or more books (in multiples of 5).

If you’re in the UK, and would like to order 5 books to be delivered to one address, please order here:

If you’re in the UK, and would like to order 10 books to be delivered to one address, please order here:

If you’re in the USA, and would like to order 5 books to be delivered to one address, please order here:

If you’re in the USA, and would like to order 10 books to be delivered to one address, please order here:


Timbuctoo Update: hardcover, ebook, Q&A, and upcoming events

This is a limited edition hardcover of Timbuctoo by Tahir Shah, with non-wood paper, marbled end-papers, a pouch at the back with extra goodies, and silk bookmark.

Timbuctoo limited edition hardcover

Hello! I wanted to share a quick recap of news and coming events…


As you may already know, the Timbuctoo hardcover will be out next month. This is a very special edition, with six fold-out maps, marbled end-papers, a pouch at the back with goodies, a silk bookmark, and non-wood paper. It’s now available for pre-order on Amazon, or (if you’re in the US) you can enter for a chance to win one of six copies on Goodreads.

Once the book has been released, I will be holding pop-up sales in London, where you can get a signed copy. I’ll be sharing more details on this early next month.


The Timbuctoo e-book launch was initially set for August. However, the date has been changed, and Timbuctoo is NOW available on Kindle and other e-readers. Click on one of the links below to get your copy:

Amazon US:
Amazon UK:

If you’d like a preview before you buy, you can download the first chapter in PDF. Hope you enjoy it!


In other news, I held my first AMA on Reddit yesterday afternoon. You can still access the questions and answers on Reddit, where the conversation will be archived. If you have any other questions for me, I will be holding an Author Q&A on Goodreads from July 1-15. Several conversation threads have already been set up, so please introduce yourself and feel free to get started asking questions at any time. I will begin answering them on July 1.


If you’re in the UK, get ready for a Timbuctoo picnic, which will be held in London in mid-July. More details on that early next month. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather, as it will be held rain or shine.



2.     Never undervalue yourself. We spend so much time listening to others and not listening to ourselves, that we often find ourselves spiralling downwards, into a pit of gloom, lacking in self worth. But if you switch this outlook of gloom, with one of enthusiasm, self-belief, amazing things start to happen almost at once. It’s miraculous. Believe in yourself and no one else and the impossible becomes possible.


July 9, 2008 Posted by tahir in Travel


When it comes to ideals there’s not much I care about passionately. I’d don’t really care if someone lies to me, or if he steals, or is rude. But what turns my blood cold is miserliness.

I can’t stand it. Not for a moment.

It’s interesting to think that the word ‘miser’ has the same root (latin for wretchedness) as ‘misery’. And to me miserliness is exactly that — wretchedness.
Living here in Morocco you see people every day who have very little in the way of worldly possessions, but their hearts are wide open. The community is ‘sensible’ (to use the French meaning the word) to those within it, and it would be unthinkable not to share.
But then of course when you go to wealthier areas, the walls gain in height and the generosity is more about impressing others rather than helping them.
In the East the idea of giving is to benefit the receiver. For this reason gifts are often given anonymously. Think about it. That’s surely the way it should be. But we often get all caught up about wanting thanks, like a dog needing a pat on the head. 
We recently had friends visiting from overseas. Their son made something for the children in the bidonville, the shantytown, in which we live. He wanted to take the gift to the kids and never had time as he had to leave. His mother seemed upset the he didn’t have the chance to give his gift. I said that I would make sure that the gift was presented. She seemed unhappy at this, at least at first… until I explained that in Morocco, and elsewhere in the Arab world, a gift is regarded a twice as valuable if the giver is unknown.
There’s another example that I can’t get out of my head. It happened quite recently too. A European gentleman who I know was staying in Fes. He invited me down to a sumptuous house he had rented. By chance he invited me to lunch on a Friday. In Morocco Friday lunch is almost sacred. It’s a communal meal and friends and friends of friends are invited to eat, more usually not from the same vast platter. There’s no such thing as scrimping and saving when it comes to guests in Morocco… and doing so on a Friday would be unthinkable.
When the European invited me he asked ever so politely, if I might come alone… to eave my wife and children behind. I must have gone silent at the other end of the phone, because he added, ‘I’m thinking of numbers don’t you know.’ In Moroccan culture such a request is beyond unthinkable. And the more I think about it, the more I find myself preoccupied with the broader idea of cultural generosity, and real hospitality.
In the same way, it’s rude in the Arab world to tell a visitor what time to come. They will come when they are ready and as a host you are expected to receive them. And of course, generosity is rewarded many times over.
For me, both my proudest and most shamed moment came a few years ago in Casablanca. I was trying to load a table into my car near the Habbous market, when I noticed a beggar going from one stall to the next, asking the stallkeepers for fruit. One by one, the fruit sellers would select the finest apple, orange, or pear, and would pass it over to the woman with their blessing. Amazed at what I was seeing, I went a little nearer. The first stallkeeper noticed my interest. He looked at me full on.
‘Just because someone is poor,’ he said, ‘it does not mean they are not worthy of the best.’