The Death of Ivan Ilych: What is the right way to live?

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?

Zayni Barakat: on Power and Justice

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

Beauty

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

Leonard Peltier: “My crime’s being an Indian, What’s yours”?

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”?