Reading Vasily Grossman: On the Joy of Discovering New Authors

It’s always a joy to discover new authors. In my case there’s barely a method to the madness. When I stumbled upon Vasily Grossman’s An Armenian Sketchbook in my library’s travel section I borrowed the book for no other reason than liking to read about places I know next to nothing about. Little did I know.

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Review: An Evening With Mark Cocker

If we consider ourselves as beings that are part of nature, protecting wildlife and combating climate change becomes more than something that “has to be done”. It becomes an act of self-preservation. Or, how an evening with nature writer Mark Cocker provoked some surprisingly deep thoughts.

Human, All Too Human: Two Book Reviews

What does it mean to be human? It’s perhaps one of the hardest questions one can ask oneself, or anyone else, and I’m not expecting to come across a coherent answer anytime soon. But, rather strikingly, two books I’ve read over the past week or so approach this existential problem from very different angles. The result being two books I’d highly recommend, not in the least because they speak to each other in quite unexpected ways.

“I know the alphabet. Maybe I could be a writer” On Hubert Selby Jr.’s Last Exist to Brooklyn

Rarely have I encountered a less ambitious explanation of an author’s reasons for starting a literary career. But then again, Hubert Selby Jr. was no ordinary writer. Writing about the down and out, while struggling with poor health and addiction, one probably cares little about the literary establishment and its self-invented rules…