Brilliant is a collection of short stories set in Abu
Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, a
polyglot city where cultures collide and converge,
where money—and sometimes justice—is no
object, where in less than two generations towers
have replaced tents. In these dozen-plus stories,
a mixed grill of characters navigate this land of
An Egyptian pastry chef. A Canadian nanny. A philandering Frenchman. A Filipina maid. This multifarious cast of characters nearly climbs off the page in Denise Roig’s new volume of short stories, Brilliant. Set entirely in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, Brilliant paints a rich and at times unsettling portrait of a city that has suddenly found itself a fountain of excessive wealth, with all its attendant pleasures and pitfalls.