Author Archives: Joel D. Hirst

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).

Ivan Turgenev and His Gentry

At the beginning of the golden age of Russian literature, when Russia was emerging from poetry – as all developed literary societies must – and turning to glorious prose, there was Ivan Turgenev. Born into lower nobility, impoverished but still … Continue reading

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On Fate and Writing

I once wandered Paris in the spring. It was chill and I was alone, the drizzle fell upon me as I walked along the Seine from Rue de Mars and on toward where the Notre Dame stood. I walked in … Continue reading

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Humanity’s Apogee – And What’s Next

It’s a strange time we’re living in. By any accounts, humanity is enjoying its glorious apogee. Using any measure, we are at our best moment. Famine has been mostly ended (in 2016 we had an unprecedented four: Nigeria, Yemen, South … Continue reading

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My Forest in Nicaragua

There is a small copse in the highlands of Nicaragua where the sparrows play. “They are still there,” I was told on my last visit, “the trees are.” Granted that was a decade ago now. “They call it Hurricane Forest” … Continue reading

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Decisive Moments in History

The stories that make up the history of mankind are written by people. We are not the playthings of the gods; nor is anything preordained, predestined or inevitable. Every great and wicked advance in our story results from the action … Continue reading

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“The Ghost of Freedom” – A Book Review

The stories that shaped the Caucasus are as ancient as language; water flowing evenly over mountains jagged and dangerous home to highland people who are as enigmatic as they are enthralling, their history deposited as olden pebbles in a river … Continue reading

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“Two Popes”

Once when I was a little boy, growing up in the highlands of northwestern Argentina my little town received a visitor: a pope. The military junta was in its final tragic burst of power before sputtering out, pinning its hopes … Continue reading

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