1984: An Excerpt

It struck him that in moments of crisis one is never fighting against an external enemy, but always against one’s own body… On the battlefield, in the torture chamber, on a sinking ship, the issues that you are fighting for are always forgotten, because the body swells up until it fills the universe, and even…

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A Room of One’s Own : An Excerpt

“It would have been extremely odd, even upon this showing, had one of them suddenly written the plays of Shakespeare, I concluded, and I thought of that old gentleman, who is dead now, but was a bishop, I think, who declared that it was impossible for any woman, past, present, or to come, to have…

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Serious Men – An Excerpt

‘I am sorry,’ Acharya said, ‘I could not see you last night.’ ‘There is some progress with the cryosampler,’ she said, and gave him a print-out of an email. And that was how she was in the days that followed. Something in her was dead. He could see it in her eyes. The way she…

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz – An Excerpt

Baretski begins to tease Lale about the note and how he must have lost his touch with the ladies. Lale ignores his teasing, asks him if he’s read any good books lately. ‘Books? I don’t read books,’ Baretski mutters. ‘You should.’ ‘Why? What good are books?’ ‘You can learn a lot from them, and girls…

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David Copperfield – An Excerpt

I don’t remember who was there, except Dora. I have not the least idea what we had for dinner, besides Dora. My impression is, that I dined off Dora, entirely, and sent away half-a-dozen plates untouched. I sat next to her. I talked to her. She had the most delightful little voice, the gayest little…

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The Last Mughal: An Excerpt

I have now divided my time between London and Delhi for over twenty years, and the Indian capital remains my favourite city. Above all it is the city’s relationship with its past which continues to intrigue me: of the great cities of the world, only Rome, Istanbul and Cairo can even begin to rival Delhi…

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A Man called Ove – An Excerpt

Ove was, well, Ove was Ove. Something the people around her also kept telling Sonja. He’d been a grumpy old man since he started elementary school, they insisted. And she could have someone so much better. Maybe he didn’t write her poems or serenade her with songs or come home with expensive gifts. But he…

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In Arabian Nights: An Excerpt

“People think I am a writer,’ he would say, ‘and when they think that they are missing the point. I write things down but the writing is just a tool. It’s nothing more than ink arranged over a surface of wood pulp. If they had real insight, they would see that I am really a…

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The Godfather: An Excerpt

“For the second time he saw Michael Corleone’s face freeze into a mask that resembled uncannily the Don’s. “Tom, don’t let anybody kid you. It’s all personal, every bit of business. Every piece of shit every man has to eat every day of his life is personal. They call it business. OK. But it’s personal…

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The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared: An Excerpt

You might think he could have made up his mind earlier, and been man enough to tell others of his decision. But Allan Karlsson had never been given to pondering things too long. So the idea had barely taken hold in the old man’s head before he opened the window of his room on the…

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Kohinoor: The History of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond: An Excerpt

On 16 May, after fifty-seven catastrophic days in Delhi, Nader Shah finally left the city, carrying with him the accumulated wealth of eight generations of imperial Mughal conquest. The greatest of all his winnings was the Peacock Throne, in which was still embedded both the Koh-i-Noor and the Timur Ruby. The loot was loaded on…

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Ham on Rye: An Excerpt

I read all the books by D. H. And they led to others. To H. D., the poetess. And Huxley, the youngest of the Huxleys, Lawrence’s friend. It all came rushing at me. One book led to the next. Dos Passos came along. Not too good, really, but good enough. His trilogy, about the U.S.A., took…

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Love among the Chickens: An Excerpt

The sight of the table, when at length we filed into the dining room, sent a chill through me. It was a meal for the very young or the very hungry. The uncompromising coldness and solidity of the viands was enough to appall a man conscious that his digestion needed humouring. A huge cheese faced…

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We Have Always Lived in the Castle – An Excerpt

I knew my way in the darkness or in the light. I thought once how good it was that I had straightened my hiding place and freshened it, so it would now be pleasant for Constance. I would cover her with leaves, like children in a story, and keep her safe and warm. Perhaps I…

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The Apple Tree: An Excerpt

“She was almost within his reach when he stumbled and fell, his foot twisted underneath him, caught in some obstacle hidden by the snow. He tried to move his foot but it was jammed, and he knew suddenly, by the sharpness of the pain biting his ankle, that what had trapped him was the jagged…

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In Arabian Nights: An Excerpt

Standing there, the ocean breeze cool on my face, I sensed the tingle of something I could not understand, and saw a fine geometric carpet laid over the lawn. I strolled down over the terrace and on to the grass, and stepped aboard it, the silk knots pressing against my bare feet. Before I knew…

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Mathilda – An Excerpt

When I had lived here some time other animals visited me and a fox came every day for a portion of food appropriated for him & would suffer me to pat his head. I had besides many books and a harp with which when despairing I could soothe my spirits, and raise myself to sympathy…

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The Fall – An Excerpt

Let’s sit down on these steamer chairs. What a fog! I interrupted myself, I believe, on the way to the little-ease. Yes, I’ll tell you what I mean. After having struggled, after having used up all my in-solent airs, discouraged by the uselessness of my efforts, I made up my mind to leave the society…

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Wuthering Heights – An Excerpt

‘Yes, she’s dead!’ I answered, checking my sobs and drying my cheeks. ‘Gone to heaven, I hope; where we may, every one, join her, if we take due warning and leave our evil ways to follow good!’ ‘Did SHE take due warning, then?’ asked Heathcliff, attempting a sneer. ‘Did she die like a saint? Come,…

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A Christmas Carol – An Excerpt

“Christmas a humbug, uncle!’ said Scrooge’s nephew. ‘You don’t mean that, I am sure?’ ‘I do,’ said Scrooge. ‘Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough.’ ‘Come, then,’ returned the nephew gaily. ‘What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to…

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Delhi is not far – An Excerpt

In Pipalnagar there is not exactly despair, but resignation, an indifference to both living and dying. The town is almost truly reflected in the Pipalnagar Home, where in an open courtyard surrounded by mud walls a score of mental patients wander about, listless and bored. A man jabbers excitedly, but most of the inmates are…

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