Why Do We Need Fiction?

Fictional stories have been central to human life for thousands of years. Yet, when it comes to fiction, you often hear phrases like “but it’s only fiction,” or “it ain’t real.” The implicit meaning behind such phrases is that fiction is somehow less valuable than non-fiction; that it’s far removed from the real world and … Continue reading Why Do We Need Fiction?

Slavery and the Power of Memory in The Water Dancer

What if memories had the power to transport enslaved people to freedom?  In his debut novel, The Water Dancer, Ta-Nehisi Coates experiments with this idea of memory as a superpower. Blending historical fiction and magical realism, Coates’s novel prompts us to rethink the institution of slavery and its enduring legacies. Set largely in the antebellum South, … Continue reading Slavery and the Power of Memory in The Water Dancer

Books That May Become Future Classics

The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood, 1985) Margaret Atwood is an amazingly talented writer and I could probably write an entire post on works by Atwood that’ll become future classics. But if I had to pick one, it’d be The Handmaid’s Tale. This book has everything a good classic needs: it’s compelling, beautifully written and thought-provoking. … Continue reading Books That May Become Future Classics

What Makes a Classic?

I guess we all have a vague notion of what a classic is. When I hear the word, I think of an excellent piece of literature that has stood the test of time. I think of Austen, Dickens, Shakespeare, Woolf, or Brontë. But what precisely makes the works of these authors to classics? What actually … Continue reading What Makes a Classic?

“We Are All Migrants Through Time”: Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West

What image comes to mind when you hear the word ‘migrants’? People jammed together on small boats or crawling underneath barbed wire fences? It’s no surprise that this is what immediately pops into most people’s head. Mainstream media is full of such images. And it is precisely this picture that Mohsin Hamid tries to revise … Continue reading “We Are All Migrants Through Time”: Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West

Why You Should Read Science Fiction

“I turned on the news. The minor epidemic they’d been talking about earlier wasn’t behaving in the usual way—a local outbreak, one they could contain. Now it was an emergency. They showed a map of the world, with the hotspots lightning up in red—Brazil, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Bombay, Paris, Berlin … The news jockeys were … Continue reading Why You Should Read Science Fiction

Celebrating Shakespeare’s Heroines

Today marks the 456th birthday of William Shakespeare and the 404th anniversary of his death–For Shakespeare was born and died, supposedly, on the same day: April 23. Either way, today is all about remembering Shakespeare’s genius. For some, it rests in his play’s timeless appeal, for others in their complex language or insightful themes. If … Continue reading Celebrating Shakespeare’s Heroines

Why You Should Read

Most of modern life takes place onscreen. Every day, we check our phones, watch TV, browse online, or share our day on social media. It seems like books have faded into the background. Why read in a world that has become so visual? Let me tell you! 1. Reading Makes You a Better Writer! Not … Continue reading Why You Should Read

My Favourite Literary Classics

Let’s be honest, classics don’t enjoy the best reputation. Most people consider them boring, outdated, difficult to understand. Back in high school, I wasn’t the biggest fan of classics either. I always wondered why we had to read such old books, why we couldn’t just read something more contemporary. However, the older I get, the … Continue reading My Favourite Literary Classics

Who Was William Shakespeare?

Who was William Shakespeare? Most people would probably answer this question with: “a writer,” or a “dramatist.” But what do you actually know about the man William Shakespeare? For example, when did he live? Where did he grow up? Did he have a wife and children? If you don’t already know the answer to these … Continue reading Who Was William Shakespeare?

Who’s Afraid of Shakespeare?

Do you remember the first time you read Shakespeare? I remember it well. It was at my German high school and we read Othello. I don’t know about you, but for me it was a rather unpleasant experience. I didn’t understand the language (made it not easier that English isn’t my first language), so I … Continue reading Who’s Afraid of Shakespeare?

The Story Behind “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”

157 years ago today, one of the greatest children’s stories of all time was born: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. On July 4th, 1862, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and his friend Reverend Robinson Duckworth took the three little Liddell sisters (no pun intended)—Edith, Alice and Lorina—on a rowing expedition up the Thames. According to Alice’s diary, it … Continue reading The Story Behind “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”