Tales from the Kathasaritsagara: Somadeva

Translated from Sanskrit by Arshia Sattar Kathasaritsagara can be translated as the “ocean of the sea of stories”. This is the mother lode of stories, composed by Somadeva around 1070 CE for the Kashmiri queen, Suryavati. But many of these had been around for a long time, so Somadeva was more of a compiler than …

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The Pledge: Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Translated from German by Joel Agee The book starts with the narrator travelling to Chur in Switzerland to give a lecture on the art of writing detective stories. The talk is not a success, and the writer meets Dr. H., a ex-chief of police in the canton of Zurich. Dr. H offers to drive the …

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Of Love and Other Demons: Gabriel García Márquez

Once, under a stifling October sun, Gabriel García Márquez, the great Latin American writer, observed the unceremonious wrenching open of a centuries-old tomb.  As the sacred stones were smashed into rubble, bundles of luminescent golden hair tumbled through the suffocating atmosphere of dust.  Measuring 22 meters and 11 centimetres, it was attached to the adolescent …

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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft—Stephen King

This book on writing starts with two contradictory epigraphs: “Honesty is the best policy” and “Liars prosper”. Good fiction is a mix of the two. Writers invent, but also draw upon what they know. This book is far more than a primer on writing well. Stephen King starts and ends the book with a series …

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