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Wu Ch’eng-en, a Confucian scholar and well-respected literary poet, wrote Monkey during the Ming dynasty. This makes it all the more surprising that Monkey was written in the vernacular -- plain, simple language -- during a time period that...

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Markus Zusak began his career as a successful writer of young adult fiction, but for his fifth novel, Zusak set out to relate the experiences of his parents growing up during World War II for an adult audience. Zusak has said that much of the...