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growing-up

Short Stories: When Literature Acts as Mirrors to the Mind

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There is a shelf in my bookcase reserved for short story collections. It’s the most frequented section of my library, containing glimpses into thought-provoking words that end too soon. To me, short stories are mini portfolios of a writer’s work, charting the changes undergone over a period of time. In each story, the writer’s mind travels somewhere else. The entire collection, therefore, reveals these changes to the reader. But I’ve recently discovered my coveted shelf of short stories not only reveals changes undergone by the writer–it also contains changes of my own. I graduated high school two years ago, and since then, I’ve unexpectedly comes across three stories I read in my twelfth grade English class: “The Swimmer” by John…

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Ffantasy ffun with Jasper Fforde, author of Thursday Next and Chronicles of Kazam

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Most authors don’t have yearly weekend festivals named after them. But then, most authors aren’t Jasper Fforde. His fans are loyal enough to travel from around the world for the annual Fforde Ffiesta—and for good reason. With more than 15 novels under his belt and four popular series, he’s a fantasy powerhouse who creates complex worlds and strong characters you can’t help but root for. Fforde is perhaps best known for his Tuesday Next books, a series about a literary detective who fights crime in a parallel universe where Dodo birds still exist and the line between books and reality is razor thin.  But he’s also explored the world of young adult literature with his Chronicles of Kazam series, starring…

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Kira Peikoff discusses how a life-changing event inspired her latest novel

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When I was 7 years old, my father had a heart attack. Not one that killed him, thank God. He was rushed to the hospital in time for doctors to clear his blocked artery. No one was all that surprised. My dad had smoked three packs a day for 30 years—that’s over 650,000 cigarettes—before quitting. Even though he’d stopped long before I was born, the damage to his body increased his risk for another heart attack, especially as he aged. And therein lies the rub: My dad’s the oldest dad around. He was born in 1933, the same year Hitler came to power. He’s of the same generation of most of my friends’ grandparents. I wasn’t too aware of this…

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