Changing our Minds

By imagining many possible worlds, argues novelist and psychologist Keith Oatley, fiction helps us understand ourselves and others. "For more than two thousand years people have insisted that reading fiction is good for you. Aristotle claimed that poetry—he meant the epics of Homer and the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, which we would now …

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The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

This new book by Jhumpa Lahiri is a powerful and riveting story. Set in Calcutta post independence, the book is the story of two brothers through the complex and tumultuous period of the birth of the Naxalite movement in West Bengal. The two brothers, Subhash and Udyaan take divergent paths, the former, being the obedient …

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The File on H: Ismail Kadare

Two naïve Irish-American scholars travel to Albania in the early 1930s in search of the origins of epic poetry—in particular, of Homer’s epics. And the only place where oral epic poetry still exists is in Albania. As far as they are concerned, it is simple: travel to the town of N__ in northern Albania with …

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The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

The Garden of Evening Mists is the story of Yun Ling Teoh, a survivor of a Japanese POW camp in Malaya during World War 2. Now a lawyer, Yun Ling returns to the hills of the Cameron Highlands to fulfil her dead sister’s dream of creating a Japanese garden. Her hatred for the Japanese makes …

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The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter: Malcolm Mackay

A gangster book with a difference. We follow a professional hitman, Calum MacLean, as he figures out how he is going to kill Lewis Winter, a smalltime drug dealer who has become a thorn in the side of a powerful criminal gang. The book is set in Glasgow, which over the course of the story, …

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