When Naguib Mahfouz serialized his novel 'The Children of Gebelawi' in Arab-language newspapers, the fundamentalist Muslim group al-Jihad promptly put a bounty on his head. Thirty years later, in 1994, the Nobel Prize-winner was stabbed in the neck outside his Cairo home. Though he lived to tell the
"The air raids on the distant metropolis, which I watched from the shelter at the arsenal, were beautiful. The flames seemed to hue to all the colors in the rainbow: it was like watching the light of a distant bonfire at a great banquet of extravagant death and destruction." So wrote Yukio Mishima in
It might seem as if she lived an entire lifetime during the writing of "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek." Her voice is that of a wizened old woman with boundless patience and an endless amount of time to observe the smallest sublime moments in nature. But in fact, Annie Dillard wrote the book while she was s
In July of 1883, an average middle-class Jewish family in an average suburb of Prague (then in Austria) ushered into the average world a new creature: Franz Kafka. He would never forgive them for this unnatural act of torture.
Franz kept his neurosis quietly to himself throughout his childhood, r