This story is the rarest of gems – that which shows us something truly different from our own experience.
Grandmother-Nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds weaves a tale that is extraordinary even for its own setting – a place which is itself extraordinary to us. In the heat of a baking desert, a culture that never was divides its labor between the sexes quite differently from what we know.
The author imparts a world in which it seems natural that old women should be the guardians of secret romance and rebellion; that cloistered scholarship should be exclusively province of men, and traversing trade routes the province of women; that it should be women who form partnerships for long, perilous journeys across sand wastes, and that changing gender could be as easy as failing a test.
For now this wonderful story can be read free online here: http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/stories/grandmother-nai-leylits-cloth-of-winds/.