Leo Tolstoy’s short story begins with the funeral of Ivan Ilych (you can read the full story here). We witness the ceremony through Ilych’s friend who is greatly disturbed by such a stark reminder of mortality. The sight of Ilych’s open casket plunges him into psychological turmoil, which he desperately tries to shake off by … More The Death of Ivan Ilych: What is the right way to live?
This absorbing tale follows the rise of Zayni Barakat, the enigmatic Governor of Cairo, during the last tumultuous stage of Mamluk rule before the devastating conquest of the Ottoman Empire (1500-1517). The author, Gamal al-Ghitani, paints a city besieged with fear. The inhabitants face a variety of grim prospects such as attacks from Mamluk soldiers, arbitrary laws … More Zayni Barakat: on Power and Justice
I found this to be a quirky yet poignant rags to riches tale that actually made me laugh out loud at several points. Charles Dickens employs wit and dark comedy to perfection. The story follows Pip an orphan with latent desires for greatness, desires that would remain unrealized in the backwater countryside in which he … More Great Expectations exceeded my expectations
And I hereby inaugurate my hasty attempt at fiction on this blog! It was actually quite fun, I might do this Friday Fictioneer thing more often. Below was the photo prompt for my 100 word story. Dark bags under the eyes and perfectly miserable, I observed. A sigh escaped me as I greeted my granddaughter. … More Beauty
I was rummaging through stowed away books from my college days and came across Leonard Peltier’s Prison Writings: My Life is my Sundance. I repressed a wry smile as I flipped through the few pages containing haphazard underlines and scrawled notes. Ahh to relive those awkward classroom discussions where no one had done the readings but everyone was ready … More Leonard Peltier: “My crime’s being an Indian, What’s yours”?
Les Miserables is the longest book I have ever read. It is massive not only in its page count but more importantly in the gut-wrenching, heart pumping feelings it evokes, the visions it creates, the horror and hope it instills… It is a book you need to read leisurely and at your own pace. The density of … More Les Miserables-I finally got through it!
There are very few books that I go back to again and again, and every time feels like a new, raw experience. Claudia Rankine’s poetry-prose “Citizen” is like harsh yet necessary headlights into the dark of our collective forgetting/ignoring/avoiding. But despite always gaining a deeper clarity when rereading this book, it is an ordeal that can … More My jumbled thoughts on Citizen:An American Lyric