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).

America’s New Aristocracy

Originally posted on Joel D. Hirst's Blog:
Every morning, here in West Africa, as I prepare my little boy for his school – the gym and the recess and the library, PE and science class and field trips –…

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After COVID-19

Monumental moments in history often follow great conflagrations. Four-hundred years ago Europe, exhausted of her wars, and seeking to put an end to the 30 years war which was only the latest in the conflicts which had stretched back forever … Continue reading

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On #BlackLivesMatter

Apropos of #BlackLivesMatter, I first arrived in #Africa in 1999, beginning my work of ten years living on the continent trying to end four different civil wars. Two of the wars still rage, two have found a shaky peace – though the violence … Continue reading

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Eulogy for Resistance

One of my wife’s former colleagues passed away yesterday. He was working from his unpleasant extended-stay hotel in Bogota where he had taken refuge after being forced to flee his country; locked down by COVID and still carrying on with … Continue reading

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The Mountains

I am haunted by mountains, ancient and immutable, unconquerable and mysterious fortresses to the past. Sinews and muscles attached to bone, enveloped by a thin layer of skin, ripping upon contact with a rose thorn or bramble; that is not … Continue reading

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The Arriving Ordeal

Originally posted on Joel D. Hirst's Blog:
The Harmattan billows above blotting out the sun, dust coalescing with diluted traces of the acrid garbage fires that warm the ditch beyond the potholed road and the wood smoke from the…

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The Return of Pessimism

During the heady days of hubris which now seem so long ago but in reality were only a few months back, I was often accused of pessimism. The world, as I saw it, was not headed to a good place. … Continue reading

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Giving Up On Hemingway

OK, I give up. “Screw it,” as I’ve been yelled at for saying. Life is too short. 2000 books, that’s what I think I have left to read in my life. One a week; ambitious for sure but I’m trying. … Continue reading

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Caravanserai

I am not a normal travel blogger; not a travel blogger at all really. I frequent the lost places, and sometimes I write about them. It is an uncommon world we live in, that is what the great lockdown has … Continue reading

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98.6 – A Novel by Leon Surmelian

It’s odd to review a novel about tuberculosis while on lockdown cowering from a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands in a matter of weeks. That statement is even strange to write. Had I read this novel only three … Continue reading

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