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In Summer 2013, a graduation speech given by the idiosyncratic novelist, short-story genius and children’s author George Saunders went viral.
Things Fall Apart tells two intertwining stories, both centering on Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first, a powerful fable of the immemorial conflict between the individual and society, traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world.
'Wide Sargasso Sea' is rightly considered by many to be one of the greatest pieces of writing of this or any time, so I naturally approach reviewing it with some trepidation. But it has to be in The Empathy Library, so here goes ...
A story about dictatorship, in this case one which occurs within the family, and a young boy so entirely in the power of his father that he cannot speak the truth.
A slim memoir of poverty, abuse, agency and power, this story of a young gay survivor growing up in dirt-poor Carolina is only ninety-four pages long.