Li Kui (李逵), one of the characters in The Water Margin, battles tigers after they killed his mother. Utagawa Kuniyoshi, between between 1845 and 1850.
In The Water Margin, first put to paper in the 14th century, local injustice is the rule, and defence against cruel local authority is a matter of vengeance, stratagem, and violence
German citizens in Magdeburg the morning after Kristallnacht.
German Federal Archive
Eight decades on, the thought of the state encouraging people to attack groups of citizens is hard to believe. Here are some books that might help.
Have you ever read a novel in the second person? You probably found it strange.
Australian crime fiction author Peter Corris published 102 novels in lifetimes, including 52 centred on the private investigator Cliff Hardy.
ALLEN AND UNWIN
With The Dying Trade, Peter Corris introduced Australia to one of its most successful crime heroes, Cliff Hardy.
A graffiti portrait of Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World.
A lack of respect for history, a population conditioned to consume goods at breakneck pace, and pacification of individuals via an entertainment culture: parts of Huxley's novel strikingly resemble our own world.
Author Michelle de Kretser with her Miles Franklin prize-winning novel, The Life To Come.
Courtesy Perpetual/Copyright Agency/Martin Ollman.
Every character in The Life To Come is complex, frustratingly unfulfilled, marked by kindness, selfishness, or dumb selflessness. But they are always, entirely, convincing.
Philip Roth would call the Jewish resistance to his work “the luckiest break I could have had.”
AP Photo/Douglas Healey
With the Holocaust still on their mind, many American Jews were highly sensitive to portrayals of Jews in popular culture. So when Roth's sex-obsessed characters came along, the pushback was swift.
Tim Winton sets his latest novel, The Shepherd’s Hut, in the salt lakes of Western Australia.
Tim Winton's latest novel, The Shepherd's Hut, pushes the author's classic themes to the extreme.
The term ‘Leb’ embodies hyper-masculinity on the street.
Generic image from Shutterstock.com
Michael Mohammed Ahmad's novel The Lebs is a realistic portrayal of teenage boys in Western Sydney.
Sue Lyon and James Mason in Stanley Kubrick’s 1962 adaptation of Lolita.
Vladimir Nabokov merged writing and cinema, bringing the art forms together like no one before or since.
Can technology be tamed? Or have we already lost complete control?
Much like the fictitious Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley's novel, more and more scientists are running away from their real-life creations.
For decades, novels have implored readers to look beyond the glamour and riches.
In their novels, Nathanael West and Bret Easton Ellis depict a world few want to admit exists, a place where 'Unless you're willing to do some pretty awful things, it's hard getting a job.'
sarkao via Shutterstock.com
A novelist who compared a man's genitals to a billiard rack has won this year's Bad Sex in Fiction Award. But not all entries were that silly.
Ernest Hemingway with a bull near Pamplona, Spain in 1927, two years before ‘A Farewell to Arms’ would be published.
Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.
A newly published batch of Ernest Hemingway’s letters could change the way we think about the author's influences, relationships with other writers and views on race.
Kazuo Ishiguro in his garden in London.
English author Kazuo Ishiguro has won the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature. For some weeks now, the bookies have been offering odds on the likely winner. Kenya’s Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o was front runner earlier…
Josephine Wilson has won the 2017 Miles Franklin award for her novel Extinctions. Judging panel chair Richard Neville stated Wilson’s novel, “explores ageing, adoption, grief and remorse, empathy and self-centredness…
Former Globe and Mail newspaper reporter turned novelist Omar El Akkad contemplates his debut book
American War in his publisher’s Toronto office in this 2017 file photo.
(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Astronomer Bryan Gaensler picks five speculative and science fiction novels worth reading, including Omar El Akkad's _American War_.
Women dressed as handmaids promoting the TV series The Handmaid’s Tale.
Brian Snyder, Reuters
With a new TV series based on the novel - and its bleak vision of women's rights - The Handmaid's Tale is riding a new wave of popularity.
James Patterson – one of the world's bestselling authors – may not principally be a writer.
A Soviet-era stamp depicts a scene from Leo Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace.’
Set during Napoleon's invasion of Russia, the epic novel is a case study in the grassroots strength of ordinary people.