It’s fiction, but true.

Two absorbing novels about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Syrian civil war illustrate how the region's politics and trauma affect the daily lives of citizens. One a story of friends, the other a story of family, these memorable novels make the news headlines human.

Reading Miriam Toews

“Women Talking” released this month is getting great reviews. So have previous novels by Canadian author Miriam Toews, whose books are bestsellers up north. Why is she so little known to American readers?

Learning Hannah Arendt

Ken Krimstein delivers a vivid account of Arendt's life and work in "The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt." It helped me to better understand this 20th century complex thinker in a graphic (“comics”) treatment that’s creatively on the mark.