Hypnotic . . . A record of one person's fierce refusal to follow a path laid down for her by the rest of the world. Paris Review Best Books of the YearThe 15-million copy bestselling travelogue-memoir from legendary Taiwanese author Sanmao, translated into English for the very first time. Leafing through the pages of National Geographic as a young girl growing up in Taiwan, Sanmao became enchanted by the infinite and wonderous landscape of the Sahara. Years later, in 1974, she sets out for the Spanish desert territory of El Aaiún in hopes of becoming the first female explorer to cross the hauntingly beautiful expanse. Her boyfriend José would have to wait, or join her. He packs his things, leaves Madrid, and asks Sanmao to marry him. As Sanmao settles in to married life alongside the indigenous people of the Western Sahara, she is confronted by a culture and desert lifestyle that both captivate and confound her. Drawn in by the mystery of such desolate lands but disappointed by the drawl of life as a perpetual outsider, Sanmao begins to wonder if the desert is what she imagined it to be, and if her insatiably curious heart can beat forever in just one place. Stories of the Sahara is a breathtaking exploration of the adventures--and misadventures--of untamable wanderlust. Sanmao illuminates the joys of fearless independence and the pains of yearning for elsewhere, culminating in a stunning mosaic of love and loneliness in a deeply human search for meaning and contentment.