Book review: “Ema, the Captive” by César Aira

Argentina, 1800s. A nubile captive, together with her infant child, are government prisoners, taken on long caravan as part of the supplies needed at the military outpost of a sinister colonial world deprived of women. It is just the beginning of the adventurous captivity of Ema, a “white” woman of unknown origins who is bartered […]

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Book review: “El llano en llamas” (the Burning Plain and other stories) by Juan Rulfo

Framing the context of the Rulfo’s work, my nephew could help but to ignite interest: “No te olvides que la Revolución Mexicana sucedió antes de la Rusa, ¿eh?” he said, reminding me of the global significance of the violent land and agrarian reform that was the Mexican Revolution, which happened even before that of the momentous Russian one that changed the course of history for the world.

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Two sides of fiction, one road to empathy

His choice surprised me not only because both of us spend our time reading the Booker prize shortlists. I couldn’t imagine someone like him taking time out to read Harry Potter— which, I discovered, revealed much more about my prejudice than about his taste.

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Book Review: “War & Turpentine” by Stefan Hertsman

“I don’t like reading movies much” is how I often describe my rejection of contemporary literature that relies heavily on the surprising turns and twists of plot, because I’ve often found that the degree to which such stories are entertaining, they are bereft of the lyricism that invokes reflection and the lingering taste of beauty.  […]

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Book review: ‘The Freethinker’s Prayer Book’ by Khushuwant Singh

I was surprised to find that it was not one of his excruciatingly irreverent novels, filled with acidic, sidesplitting truths about what people really do. It was his own very personal collection of some of literature’s greatest verses and aphorisms of writers, prophets, poets, philosophers, mystics and saints to support his “own religion”: a religion of a man who “does not believe in God”.

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Book review: Tolstoy’s Hadji Murat

The brilliant flower of a Tartar thistle stubbornly clinging to the middle of a field was the vision that provoked the memory of the great writer, recollecting the story he had heard of as a young man visiting the Caucasus. It was the tale of the famous Chechen rebel, Hadji Murat, whose unwavering allegiance to […]

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The Bhagavadgῑtā

It is not necessary, however, to take a major detour in life and go to another country in order for you to discover that you are not exactly the author of your own story.

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