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Saki



Saki
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.6

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    cupbearer, eponymous, inspector-general, vices, wise-cracking, following, ghastly, hypocrisy, timeless, malicious, penname, journalism, well-timed, publication, corporal, irresponsible
     content words:    Writer Hector Hugh Munro, Dorothy Parker, Hector Hugh Munro, British Empire, Burmese Military Police, Westminster Gazette, Westminster Alice, Russian Empire, Omar Khayyam, As Saki


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Saki
By Jamie Kee
  

1     Writer Hector Hugh Munro, whose penname was Saki, used wit in his outrageous and sometimes gruesome stories that satirized Edwardian society and culture. In addition to his short stories, he also wrote plays and novels. Saki, who is frequently compared to O. Henry and Dorothy Parker, has been called "a master of the short story" and "the most malicious writer of them all."
 
2     Hector Hugh Munro was born in 1870 in Akyab, Burma, now known as Sittwe, Myanmar. When it was still part of the British Empire, his father was an inspector-general for the Burmese police. Munro's mother died when he was young, so he and his siblings were sent to England to be raised by their aunts who frequently used corporal punishment. He was educated in England, where his father eventually retired. Munro started a career by following his father's footsteps and joining the Burmese Military Police. Unfortunately, Munro had to retire after a year due to health reasons, so he returned to England in 1896 and began a career as a journalist. He wrote political satires for the Westminster Gazette. Some of Munro's best work was written during this time. Many of these essays were collected and later published as The Westminster Alice (1902).
 
3     Munro continued his writing career with the publication of his first serious nonfiction book, The Rise of the Russian Empire (1900). It was the only book published under his real name. Disappointingly, the book received poor reviews, but Munro continued writing.

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