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).

From Zanzibar to Timbuktu

“What will become of Africa?” That is the most common question asked by anybody who has spent any meaningful time on the continent. It is realism, not racism – that facile solution which is so common today in the minds … Continue reading

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To Talk of Many Things… (Vol. #16 – Russia)

I read a lot of Russian literature and history. It is after all the great unknown; a land that lies behind a snowy curtain long after the Iron Curtain fell. A place of philosophy as deep as the cold dark … Continue reading

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On Home

We are all born for somewhere else, I think. While we all have a sense of place coded deep within our DNA, a source of conflict and anger to be sure but also something that gives a tremendous sense of … Continue reading

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Our Age of Un-Ideas

Listening to the United Nations General Assembly today, which I do out of habit not interest, was uninspiring. The Iranians blasted ‘hegemony’ (whatever that means); the Argentines complained about how the U.S. treats Cuba (and demanded the Falkland Islands back). … Continue reading

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On Fatherhood and Faith

Raising a little boy in troubled times is a tremendous feat. They say marriage makes you a better man; but it is not a wife that improves you. Being a father makes you a better man, or it should. Carefully … Continue reading

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The Approaching Event

The Dogon, who live in cliff dwellings nestled into the sides of a mountain range in central Mali have star charts that show Serius B, the white dwarf star that accompanies Serius A. If you climb the cliff-side (I have) … Continue reading

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Hotel Bolivia

There was likely no more dramatic place for Jews fleeing the holocaust to end up than Bolivia. But for a small group, that unlikely land is exactly where they found refuge from Hitler’s wickedness. The crevice in the high Andes … Continue reading

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I Should Be Writing My Armenia Book

This essay represents a failure, not complete for I remain optimistic but certainly a success deferred. I should be writing my Armenia novel. Each passing day, it gets a little harder. My parenthesis utopia is moving deeper into the past, … Continue reading

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More on Money

One (of the many) issues which caused me to quit social media (Facebook and Twitter specifically) was the monetization of ‘interactions’ – likes and shares and retweets. People with many ‘followers’, generating lots of ‘views’ or ‘engagements’ were able to … Continue reading

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Continuing on my theme, though it has not been universally well received, of a ‘reality’ check – I felt it was important to address the issue of money. There are a lot of misconceptions about money; most hovering around ideas … Continue reading

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