Literary Wives: The Disobedient Wife

A disobedient wife, in the context of contemporary Tajikistan, is a wife who wants autonomy and acts on it. The Disobedient Wife (2015), beautifully written if somewhat disjointed in the transitions through time, is a strong statement of what women need and want in order to exercise their agency. We see this theme through the... Continue Reading →

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Late Nights with New Fairy Tales

I can’t remember how I discovered Franz Xaver von Schönwerth’s book of “newly discovered fairy tales,” but I am glad I did. It is called The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales (2015), and it is just that. Von Schönwerth apparently collected these stories from the Bavarian countryside in the 1850s, and a... Continue Reading →

Xicoténcatl: An Anonymous Historical Novel

This might be the most boring and poorly written book ever, but it has historical significance. It’s Xicoténcatl (1870), translated and edited by Guillermo I. Castillo-Feliú. It is an anonymous text, one that attempts to outline the myth of the Americas from the perspective of the natives. It is about the Tlaxcalan people and Spanish... Continue Reading →

Hope and Joy Amid Difficulty: The Lowland

I’ve been a fan of Jhumpa Lahiri’s since reading her first novel The Namesake (2003), and I moved from there to her short stories, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning collection Interpreter of Maladies (1999).  I will read anything she writes.  So when her second novel The Lowland (2013) came out last year, I jumped at the... Continue Reading →

World Literature and Othering

As I mentioned in my post on The Kite Runner, I took a world literature class while working on a Master’s degree in English.  I was so excited for the class, and my background as an editor of a daily document about the worldwide security situation prepared me for knowing a little bit about the... Continue Reading →

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