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).

To Be Burned Twice

“For, to be burned twice in one’s lifetime, is, after all, a rare distinction.” I recently finished reading Arthur Koestler’s two-part auto-biography, P1 “Arrow in the Blue” and P2 “The Invisible Writing”. Finished when he was only thirty-five years old … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Liberty | Tagged , | 5 Comments

The Suicide of California

Civilizations fail, and then they fall. That is the natural order of things. They fail because their ideas buckle; their discipline withers away; their common culture becomes brittle – an adhesive which no longer binds. Then they fall, a crash … Continue reading

Posted in America | Tagged , | 6 Comments

The Sadness of Hong Kong

“You need to visit Hong Kong” my parents would say. They were wont to go there; a waystop between the obsidian totalitarianism of Harbin and the nihilistic desperation of Nagasaki before heading into the ancient rotting darkness of Irian Jaya. … Continue reading

Posted in Liberty | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Discovering A Great Voice

There is nothing more extraordinary, more exhilarating than the discovery of a great voice. A singular talent tucked away and unsung except for those who know, and those who search to fill that space within their souls that only is … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review | Tagged | Leave a comment

On 9/11

Remains true, so long as we remain optimistic: “We are sometimes naïve in our goodness – Americans are. It’s part of the nature of our life lived in a free society; part of our ‘social contract’ in which we each … Continue reading

Posted in America | Tagged | Leave a comment

Soviet Short Stories

There are few like the great Russian masters. Perhaps its the harsh winters that encourage contemplation; maybe its the beauty of the Russian language itself, with its depth of tenses and tremendous descriptive power that encourages people to put ideas, … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

As 2020 Unravels, Grab a Book…

As this year unravels, as the stories of tragedy and mayhem stack themselves up one atop the other in the cementing pressure of misery which we will carry with us, oh probably forever, I was thinking about the last 15 … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Liberty, Literature, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

“Out of Africa” – A Book Review

I once said I would write more of Africa. I have found it hard to keep that promise. I lived upon that continent for a decade, in Central, East and also West Africa – working the civil wars that ravage … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Our Summer of ’20

Summer is winding down. The weather is beginning to cool off, at least in some places, and “Back To School” season is upon us. Book-bags and binders and lunch-bags. And face-masks – for though summer is over, the strangeness of … Continue reading

Posted in Honor, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 5 Comments

The Unraveling

Introducing my 5th novel, “The Unraveling”. As I endeavor to make new acts of creation with each one, this book – which took me 4 years to write – is by far perhaps the most literary; and it feels like … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Literature, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments