This is a record of all the valid book recommendations I received before, during and in the year after my 2012 quest. I chose one book for each nation for the project. These are underlined and you can click the titles or country names to read my thoughts on each choice.
I continue to update the list by choosing one new title a month as my Book of the month. Links to these reviews are highlighted in orange. If you have a recommendation (or you know about an English version of one of the books marked ‘translation sought’), please leave a comment at the bottom.
- Afghanistan Atiq Rahimi A Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear; The Patience Stone / Khaled Hosseini The Kite Runner; A Thousand Splendid Suns / Anna Badkhen Waiting for the Taliban / Emmanuel Guibert The Photographer / (as told to) Batya Swift Yasgur Behind the Burqa
- Albania Ismail Kadare The Palace of Dreams; Broken April / Fatos Kongoli The Loser / Elvira Dones Sworn Virgin
- Algeria Leïla Marouane The Sexual Life of an Islamist in Paris / Anouar Benmalek Abduction / Assia Djebar So Vast the Prison / Boualem Sansal An Unfinished Business; The German Mujahid / Al-Tahir Wattar The Earthquake / Anouar Benmalek The Lovers of Algeria / Yasmina Khadra The Attack
- Andorra Albert Salvadó The Teacher of Cheops
- Angola José Eduardo Agualusa My Father’s Wives; Creole / Pepetela The Return of the Water Spirit / Ondjaki Good Morning Comrades; The Whistler / Jose Eduardo Agualusa The Book of Chameleons / Manuel Rui Monteiro Quem me dera ser Onda (translation sought) / José Luandino Vieira Our Musseque
- Antigua and Barbuda Jamaica Kincaid Lucy; Annie John / Marie-Elena John Unburnable / Althea Prince Loving this Man; Ladies of the Night / Gisele Isaac Considering Venus / Joanne C. Hillhouse et al. Pepperpot (pan-Caribbean anthology)
- Argentina Martin Kohan Seconds Out / César Aira How I Became a Nun; An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter / Ernesto Sábato The Tunnel / Alicia Steimberg Musicians and Watchmakers / Jorges Luis Borges / Tomás Eloy Martínez Purgatory (trans. Frank Wynne) / Matias Nespolo 7 Ways to Kill a Cat (trans. Frank Wynne) / Carlos Gamerro The Islands / Iosi Havilio Opendoor / Luisa Valenzuela / Ricardo Piglia / Guillermo Martínez / Manuel Puig / Adolfo Bioy Casares The Invention of Morel / Julio Cortázar Hopscotch / Samanta Schweblin Fever Dream
- Armenia Armand Inezian Bringing Ararat / Grigoris Balakian Armenian Golgotha / Narine Abgaryan, tr. Lisa C. Hayden Three Apples Fell from the Sky
- Australia Tim Winton Cloudstreet / Helen Garner The Children’s Bach / Markus Zusak The Book Thief / Nam Le The Boat / Andrew McGahan The White Earth / Elizabeth Jolley / Alex Miller Lovesong / Jill Ker Conway The Road from Coorain / Gail Jones A Guide to Berlin
- Austria Elias Canetti The Torch in my Ear / Anna Kim Frozen Time / Thomas Bernhard Extinction / Stefan Zweig / Julya Rabinovich Splithead / Robert Seethaler A Whole Life
- Azerbaijan Gioulzar Akhmedova Magnolia / Maksud Ibragimbekov / Anar Razayev / ? Ali and Nino
- The Bahamas Ian Strachan God’s Angry Babies / Garth Buckner Thine is the Kingdom
- Bahrain Ali Al Saeed Quixotiq / Sarah A Al Sahfei Yummah
- Bangladesh Taslima Nasrin Shame / Tahmima Anam The Good Muslim / Humayun Ahmed To the Woods Dark and Deep / Ekhlasuddin Ahmed When the Evening Darkens / Shawkat Osman The Laughter of a Slave / Anwar Pasha Rifles Bread Women
- Barbados Karen Lord Redemption in Indigo / Agymah Kamau Flickering Shadows; Pictures of a Dying Man / Glenville Lovell Fire in the Canes; Song of Night; Too Beautiful to Die
- Belarus Artur Klinov The Sun City of Dreams / Uladzimir Karatkievich King Stakh’s Wild Hunt / Vasil Bykau Sotnikau or The Ordeal / Viktar Martsinovich Paranoia / Svetlana Alexievich Voices from Chernobyl / Uladzimir Karatkevich The Spikes Under Your Sickle / Ivan Melezh People of the Swamp / Svetlana Alexievich Chernobyl Prayer: A Chronicle of the Future
- Belgium Hergé The Adventures of Tintin / Peter Terrin The Guard / Stefan Brijs The Angel Maker / Francois Emmanuel Invitation to a Voyage / Dimitri Verhulst The Misfortunates / Louis Paul Boon My Little War / Paul Verhaeghen Omega Minor / Amélie Nothomb / Saskia De Coster We and Me / Annelies Verbeke Thirty Days / Jacqueline Harpman I Who Have Never Known Men
- Belize Zoila Ellis On Heroes, Lizards and Passion
- Benin Gisèle Hountondji / Jean Pliya / Florent Couao-Zotti / Adelaide Fassinou / Rashidah Ismaili Abubakr Stories We Tell Each Other
- Bhutan Kunzang Choden The Circle of Karma / Karma Ura The Hero with a Thousand Eyes / T Sangay Wangchuk Seeing with the Third Eye / Dorji Penjore Bomena / Pema Euden Coming Home / Sonam Kinga
- Bolivia José Edmundo Paz-Soldán / Víctor Montoya / Renato Prada Oropeza / Giovanna Rivero Sweet Blood / Juan de Recacoechea American Visa / Liliana Colanzi Our Dead World
- Bosnia and Herzegovina Zlata Filipovic Zlata’s Diary / Saša Stanišić How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone / Aleksandar Hemon The Lazarus Project / Ivo Andric The Bridge on the Drina / Meša Selimović Death and the Dervish; Fortress
- Botswana Angus, Maisie and Travers McNeice The Lion Children / Bessie Head A Question of Power / Unity Dow
- Brazil João Ubaldo Ribeiro House of the Fortunate Buddhas; An Invincible Memory / Clarice Lispector / Rubem Fonseca / Paulo Freire / Clarice Lispector Agua Viva / Jorge Amado Jubiabá; The Double Death of Quincas Water-Bray / João Guimarães Rosa / Paulo Coelho / Machado de Assis Dom Casmurro / Chico Buarque Budapest / Lygia Fagundes Telles The Marble Dance / Zulmira Ribeiro Tavares Family Heirlooms / Patrícia Melo, tr. Clifford E. Landers The Body Snatcher
- Brunei Eva Maria Kershaw Dusun Folktales: A Collection of Eighty-eight Folktales in the Dusun Language of Brunei with English Translations / Christopher Sun (aka Sun Tze Yun) Four Kings / Amir Falique The Forlorn Adventure
- Bulgaria Elias Canetti The Tongue Set Free / Kalin Terziyski Is there Anybody to Love You? / Georgi Gospodinov Natural Novel / Kapka Kassabova Street Without a Name / Anton Donchev Time of Parting / Milen Ruskov Thrown into Nature / Emiliyan Stanev The Peach Thief / Dimitar Dimov Doomed Souls / Aleko Konstantinov, tr. Victor A. Friedman, Christina E. Kramer, Grace E. Fielder and Catherine Rudin Bai Ganyo
- Burkina Faso Sarah Bouyain / Frédéric Pacéré Titinga / Nobert Zongo The Parachute Drop
- Burundi Marie-Therese Toyi Weep Not, Refugee / Roland Rugero Baho!
- Cambodia U Sam Oeur Crossing Three Wildernesses / Alice Pung Unpolished Gem / Vaddey Ratner In the Shadow of the Banyan / Loung Ung / Haing S Ngor / Bree Lafreniere and Daran Kravanh Music Through Dark
- Cameroon Mongo Beti La Pauvre Christ de Bomba (The Poor Christ of Bomba); Mission to Kala / Beatrice Fri Bime Mystique: a collection of lake myths
- Canada Robertson Davies / Nicole Brossard Mauve Desert / Alice Munro / Lauren B Davis Our Daily Bread / Darcie Friesen Hossack Mennonites Don’t Dance / Anne Michaels Fugitive Pieces / Thomas King Green Grass, Running Water / Elizabeth Hay Late Nights on Air / Michael Ondaatje In the Skin of a Lion / Frances Itani Deafening / Joseph Boyden The Three Day Road / Carol Shields / Donna Morrissey / Timothy Findley Not Wanted on the Voyage / Michael Crummey Galore / Anita Rau Baudami Tamarind Mem; The Hero’s Walk / Zoe Whittall Bottle Rocket Hearts
- Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) Germano Almeida The Last Will & Testament of Senhor da Silva Araújo / Dina Salústio The Madwoman of Serrano
- Central African Republic Pierre Makombo Bamboté Dada’s Travels from Ouadda to Bangui / ed. Polly Strong African Tales: Folklore of the Central African Republic / Etienne Goyémidé / Adrienne Yabouza Co-wives, Co-widows
- Chad Joseph Brahim Seid Told by Starlight in Chad
- Chile Roberto Bolano The Savage Detectives / Alejandro Zambra The Private Lives of Trees; Bonsai / Isabel Allende The House of the Spirits (trans. Magda Bodin) / Diamela Eltit / Alberto Fuguet / María Luisa Bombal / Luis Sepúlveda / Antonio Skármeta / Lina Meruane Seeing Red
- China Zhu Wen I Love Dollars / Jian Rong Wolf Totem / Ma Jian Stick Out Your Tongue; Red Dust/ Cao Xuequin Dream of the Red Chamber / Wu Cheng’en Journey to the West / Zhang Yueran / Chan Koonchung The Fat Years (trans. Michael Duke) / Yan Lianke Dream of Ding Village / Mo Yan The Garlic Ballads; Shifu, You’ll Do Anything for a Laugh / Zhu Wen / Zhang Yueran / Han Dong Banished! / Yan Ge / Xialou Guo Village of Stone / Mian Mian Candy / Wang Shuo Playing for Thrills / Chen Xiwo I Love My Mum / Xu Zechen / Xue Xinran The Good Women of China; China Witness; Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother / Hok-Pang Tang & David Coomler A Time of Ghosts / Huo Da Jade King / Wang Xiaobo / Cao Wenxuan Bronze and Sunflower / Yan Lianke Lenin’s Kisses / Shuang Xuetao Rouge Street
- Colombia Evelio Rosero The Armies / Pilar Quintana Tickles in the Tongue / Juan Gabriel Vasquez The Informers / Eduardo Garcia Aguilar Boulevard of Heroes / Fernando Vallejo Our Lady of the Assassins / Hector Abad Faciolince / Laura Restrepo Delirium / Fernando Vallejo / Gabriel García Márquez / James Cañón Tales from the Town of Windows / Leila Cobo
- Comoros Mohammed Toihiri The Kafir of Karthala / Ali Zamir A Girl Called Eel
- Congo, Democratic Republic of Amba Bongo / Frederick Yamusangie Full Circle
- Congo, Republic of Emmanuel Dongala Johnny Mad Dog; Little Boys Come from the Stars / Sony Lab’ou Tansi The Antipeople / Alain Mabanckou Letter to Jimmy
- Costa Rica Anacristina Rossi / Carmen Naranjo / Oscar Nunez Olivas Cadence of the Moon / Anacristina Rossi The Madwoman of Gandoca / ed Barbara Ras Costa Rica: A Traveler’s Literary Companion
- Côte d’Ivoire Bernard Dadié Climbié / Ahmadou Kourouma Allah is not Obliged / Véronique Tadjo, tr. Tadjo with John Cullen In the Company of Men / GauZ’ Standing Heavy
- Croatia Miroslav Krleža On the Edge of Reason / Dubravka Ugrĕsic The Ministry of Pain; In the Jaws of Life / Slavenka Drakulic A Guided Tour through the Museum of Communism / Marija Jurić Zagorka Daughter of the Lotrščak; A Stone on the Road; The Witch of Gric / Antun Gustav Matoš / Robert Perišič Our Man in Iraq / Ivana Sajko Love Novel
- Cuba Mayra Montero Dancing to Almendra / Ena Lucia Portela One Hundred Bottles / Alejo Carpentier / Reinaldo Arenas / Antonio José Ponte / Leonardo Padura / Reinaldo Arenas / Leonardo Padura Fuentes / Virgilio Piñera / José Lezama Lima / Severo Sarduy / Guillermo Cabrera Infante / Lydia Cabrera Afro-Cuban Tales / Leonardo Padura The Man Who Loved Dogs
- Cyprus Anna Marangou/Andreas Coutas (trans. Xenia Andreou) Famagusta: the Story of the City / Eve Makis / Christy Lefteri A Watermelon, a Fish and a Bible / Panos Ioannides Gregory and other stories / Elmos Konis Magnette / Nora Nadjarian Ledra Street
- Czech Republic (Czechia) Bohumil Hrabal Too Loud a Solitude / Hana Demetz The House on Prague Street / Tomáš Zmeškal Love Letter in Cuneiform Script / Josef Škvorecký The Engineer of Human Souls (trans. Paul Wilson) / Jáchym Topol The Devil’s Workshop
- Denmark Jakob Ejersbo Exile: Book One of the African Trilogy / Morten Ramsland Dog Head / Christian Jungersen The Exception / Louise Bugge Laermann Constanze Mozart / Peter Høeg Smilla’s Sense of Snow
- Djibouti Abdourahman Waberi In the United States of Africa; Passage of Tears
- Dominica Phyllis Shand Allfrey The Orchid House / Elma Napier Black and White Sands / Jean Rhys / Pupils of Atkinson School The Snake King of the Kalinago / Alick Lazare Pharcel / Various Home Again / Christborne Shillingford Most Wanted: street stories from the Caribbean
- Dominican Republic Juan Bosch / Arambilet Neguri’s Secret / Junot Diaz The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao / Pedro Mir When they Loved the Communal Land / Julia Alvarez / Rita Indiana Tentacle
- East Timor Luis Cardoso The Crossing
- Ecuador Jorge Icaza Huasipungo / Alicia Yáñez Cossío The Potbellied Virgin
- Egypt Ahdaf Soueif The Map of Love; Cairo: My City, Our Revolution / Sonallah Ibrahim Stealth / Mohamed Mansi Qandil Moon Over Samarqand / Waguih Ghali Beer in the Snooker Club / Naguib Mahfouz Midaq Alley; The Thief and the Dogs; Miramar; The Final Hour/ Alaa Al Aswany The Yacoubian Building / Radwa Ashour / Nawal El Saadawi / May Telmissany Dunyazad / Salwa Bakr / ed. Marilyn Booth My Grandmother’s Cactus / Gamal al-Ghitani Zayni Barakat / Yusef Zeidan Azazil / Radwa Ashour Granada; Spectres / Ibrahim Abdel Meguid No One Sleeps in Alexandria / Bahar Tahir / Muhammad Bisati / Basma Abdel Aziz The Queue
- El Salvador Horacio Castellanos Moya Senselessness
- Equatorial Guinea Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel By Night the Mountain Burns / Donato Ndongo Shadows of your Black Memory / Maria Nsue Angue Ekomo (translation sought) / TrifoniaMelibea Obono La Bastarda
- Eritrea Senait Mehari Heart of Fire / Sulaiman Addonia The Consequences of Love / Dawit Gebremichael Habte Gratitude in Low Voices / Tesfaye Gebreab The Nurenebi File
- Estonia Jaan Kross Professor Martens’ Departure; Treading Air / Viivi Luik The Beauty of History
- Ethiopia Maaza Mengiste Beneath the Lion’s Gaze / Dinaw Mengestu Children of the Revolution / Abraham Verghese Cutting for Stone
- Fiji Peter Thomson Kava in the Blood / Epeli Hau’ofa Kisses in the Nederends; Tales of the Tikongs / Mikaele M.K. Yasa Of Baluka and Nibong Palm
- Finland Arto Paasilinna The Year of the Hare / Mika Waltari The Egyptian / Johanna Sinisalo Troll: A Love Story / Sofi Oksanen Purge / Emmi Itäranta Memory of Water / Antti Tuomainen The Man Who Died
- France Alain-Fournier The Wanderer / Marie NDiaye Rosie Carpe / Marie Darrieussecq My Phantom Husband / Colette Chéri / Faiza Guene Dreams from the Endz / Raymond Queneau Exercises in Style (trans. Barbara Wright) / Georges Perec Life:a User’s Manual (trans. David Bellos) / Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio Wandering Star / Jean Echenoz Lightning / Delphine de Vigan Underground Time / Faïza Guène Just Like Tomorrow / Alexis Jenni The French Art of War / Laurence Cossé A Novel Bookstore / Hélène Grémillon The Confidant / Jérôme Ferrari Where I Left My Soul / Marguerite Yourcenar / Michel Houellebecq / André Schwarz-Bart A Woman Named Solitude (trans. Ralph Manheim) / Abnousse Shalmani Khomeini, Sade and Me / Lydia Salvayre Cry, Mother Spain / Tiphaine Rivière Notes on a Thesis / Bessora/Barroux Alpha: Abidjan to Garde du Nord / Gerty Dambury, tr. Pam Allen The Restless
- Gabon Daniel Mengara Mema
- The Gambia Dayo Forster Reading the Ceiling / Dembo Fanta Bojang & Sukai Mbye Bojang Folk Tales and Fables from The Gambia
- Georgia Sana Krasikov One More Year / ed Elizabeth Heighway Contemporary Georgian Fiction / Cabua Amirejibi Data Tutashkhia / Mikheil Javakhishvili Kvachi / Otar Chiladze A Man Was Going Down the Road / Nino Haratischvili The Eighth Life: (for Brilka)
- Germany Jenny Erpenbeck Visitation; The End of Days / Günter Grass The Tin Drum / Christa Wolf / Heinrich Böll The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum / Emine Sevgi Özdamar Bridge of the Golden Horn / Walter Benjamin Illuminations (trans. Harry Zohn) / Clemens Meyer All the Lights / Christa Wolf Medea / Franz Fühmann / Inka Parei The Shadow-Boxing Girl / Hans Fallada Alone in Berlin / Jurek Becker Jacob the Liar / Herman Hesse Siddhartha / Thomas Mann / Yoko Tawada Memoirs of a Polar Bear / Anke Stelling, tr. Lucy Jones Higher Ground / Anonymous A Woman in Berlin
- Ghana Ayi Kwei Armah The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born / Isaac Neequaye / Ama Ata Aidoo / Jo de Graft Hanson Amanfi’s Gold / Gheysika Adombire Agambila Journey / Various Anansi Stories
- Greece Kostas Hatziantoniou The Black Book of Bile; Agrigento / Margarita Karapanou Kassandra and the Wolf / Panos Karnezis / Nikos Kazantzakis Freedom or Death; The Last Temptation
- Grenada Tobias Buckell / Merle Collins The Ladies are Upstairs
- Guatemala Miguel Angel Asturias The President / Rodrigo Rey Rosa / Rigoberta Menchú I, Rigoberta Menchú / Augusto Monterroso / Eduardo Halfon The Polish Boxer
- Guinea Camara Laye The Radiance of the King; The Guardian of the Word
- Guinea-Bissau Amilcar Cabral Unity and Struggle / Abdulai Silá The Ultimate Tragedy
- Guyana Oonya Kempadoo Buxton Spice
- Haiti Marvin Victor / Lyonel Trouillot Children of Heroes / Dany Laferriere How to Make Love to a Negro without Getting Tired; I am a Japanese Writer / Louis-Philppe Dalembert / Edwidge Danticat The Farming of the Bones / Franketienne / Gary Klang / Josaphat-Robert Large / Emmelie Prophète Blue
- Honduras Guillermo Yuscaran Points of Light / Ramón Amaya Amador
- Hungary Sándor Márai Embers / Dezső Kosztolányi Skylark / Zsigmond Móricz Be Faithful Unto Death / Antal Szerb Journey by Moonlight / Péter Esterházy Not Art / Tibor Fischer Under the Frog / Antal Szerb The Pendragon Legend / László Krasznahorkai War and War (trans. George Szirtes) / Ferenc Karinthy Metropole / Imre Kertész Fatelessness / Albert Wass / Rejtő Jenő / Péter Nádas A Book of Memories; Parallel Stories / Iván Mándy On the Balcony / Ferenc Molnár The Paul Street Boys
- Iceland Arnaldur Indridason Jar City / Halldór Laxness The Atom Station / Ófeigur Sigurðsson / Gyrðir Eliasson Stone Tree / Auður A Ólafsdóttir The Greenhouse / Kristín Ómarsdóttir Swanfolk
- India Suketu Mehta Maximum City / Rohinton Mistry Family Matters; A Fine Balance / Premchand / Rahul Bhattacharya The Sly Company of People who Care / Amitav Ghosh River of Smoke / Tabish Khair The Thing about Thugs / Aman Sathi A Free Man / Sunetra Gupta / Omair Ahmad Jimmy the Terrorist / UR Ananthamurthy Bharathipura / Chandrakanta A Street in Srinagar / Siddharth Chowdhury Day Scholar / Kishwar Desai Witness the Night / Namita Devidayal Aftertaste / Manu Joseph Serious Men / Kavery Nambisan: The Story that Must Not Be Told / Kalpish Ratna The Quarantine Papers / Uppamanyu Chattergee Way to go / Chandrahas Choudhury Arzee the Dwarf / Manju Kapur The Immigrant / Neel Mukherjee The Immigrant / Mani Sankar Mukherji The Middleman / I. Allan Sealy The Trotter Nama / Shashi Warrier / Aniruddha Bahal / Vikram Chandra / M T Vasudevan Nair Mist; The Legacy; The Demon Seed; Second Turn; Kaalam / Asha Poorna Devi / Ruskin Bond / Gurcharan Das India Unbound / Mark Tully / Shashi Tharoor The Great Indian Novel / Mahasweta Devi Imaginary Maps; Bitter Soil; Hajar Churashir Maa / RK Narayan Malgudi Days / Jhaverchand Meghani / Kushwant Singh Train to Pakistan; The Portrait of a Lady / ed Rakesh Khanna The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction / Shivaji Sawant Mrityunjay / OV Vijayan / Govardhanram Tripathi Saraswatichandra / Satyajit Ray Feluda series / Sunil Gangopadhyay Those Days / Rabindranath Tagore / Sashi Deshpande / Kiran Nagarkar Cuckold; Seven Sixes are Forty-Three / Charu Nivedita Zero Degree / Tarun Tejpal Alchemy of Desire / Manoshi Bhattacharya Chittagong Summer of 1930 / Sankar Chowringhee / Shanta Gokhale Crowfall / Maitreyi Devi Na Hanyate / Aruna Chakrabarti Srikanta / Ruskin Bond / Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai Chemmeen / Mulk Raj Anand Untouchable / Vikram Seth A Suitable Boy / Vivek Shanbhag Ghachar Ghochar / Geetanjali Shree Mai
- Indonesia Yusuf Bilyarta Mangunwijaya (Romo Mangun) Burung-Burung Manyar; Rara Mendut; Durga/Umayi / Ayu Utami / Mochtar Lubis / Pramoedya Ananta Toer This Earth of Mankind / Dewi Lestari Supernova / Agustinus Wibowo Blanket of Dust (translation sought) / Andrea Hirata The Rainbow Troops / Eka Kurniawan Man Tiger / Ayu Utami, tr. Pam Allen Saman / Budi Darma People from Bloomington
- Iran Akbar Golrang Parpin Flowers /Nasrin Alavi We are Iran / Shahrnush Parsipur Touba and the Meaning of Night / Mahmoud Dowlatabadi The Colonel (trans. Tom Patterdale) / Adnan-Ahmed / Fariba Hachtroudi The Man Who Snapped His Fingers
- Iraq Samuel Shimon An Iraqi in Paris / Ali Bader The Tobacco Keeper / Hassan Blasim The Madman of Freedom Square / Rodaan Al Galidi Thirsty River / Samira Al-Mana / Wafaa Abed Al Razzaq / A Alwan The Sheikh’s Detective / Fuad al-Takarli The Long Way Back
- Ireland James Joyce Ulysses / Maria Edgeworth Castle Rackrent / William Trevor / Sebastian Barry The Secret Scripture / Flann O’Brien The Third Policeman; At Swim–Two–Birds
- Israel David Grossman Falling Out of Time; To the End of the Land; Be My Knife / Amos Oz A Tale of Love and Darkness (trans. Nicholas de Lange) / Savyon Liebrecht / AB Yehoshua / Ronit Matalon / Alex Epstein / Aharon Appelfeld Blooms of Darkness / Sara Shilo The Falafel King is Dead / Etgar Keret / Yehoshua Kenaz / Zeruya Shalev Pain
- Italy Roberto Saviano Zero Zero Zero; Gomorrah / Leonardo Sciascia The Day of the Owl (trans. Archibald Colquhoun) / Fabio Geda In the Sea there are Crocodiles (trans. Howard Curtis) / Elena Ferrante The Lost Daughter; The Days of Abandonment; My Brilliant Friend / Antonio Tabucchi Pereira Maintains / Diego Marani New Finnish Grammar / Alessandro Baricco Ocean Sea; Mr Gwyn / Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa The Leopard / Alessandro Manzoni / Luigi Pirandello / Primo Levi / Italo Svevo / Dino Buzzati The Tartar Steppe / Elena Varvello Can You Hear Me?
- Jamaica Kei Miller / Lindsay Barrett / Margaret Cezair-Thompson The Pirate’s Daughter / Colin Channer / Brian Meeks Paint the Town Red / Patricia Powell / Victor Stafford Reid / Vanessa Spence / Marlon James The Book of Night Women; John Crow’s Devil
- Japan Haruki Murakami Kafka on the Shore; 1Q84 / Natsume Sōseki The Miner; I am a Cat/ Michitsuna no Haha (Michitsuna’s mother) The Kagero Diary (trans. Sonja Arntzen) / Yukio Mishima Death in Midsummer (trans. Seidensticker, Keene, Morris, Sargent) / Hiromi Kawakami Manazuru / Shiba Ryotaro / Yoko Ogawa Hotel Iris / Yoriko Shono / Yumiko Kurahashi / Yoko Tawada / Yasunari Kawabata Snow Country / Mieko Kawakami, tr. Sam Bett and David Boyd Breasts and Eggs
- Jordan Ibrahim Nasrallah Time of White Horses / Abdulrahman Munif Cities of Salt
- Kazakhstan Rollan Seisenbayev The Day the World Collapsed / Mukhamet Shayakhmetov The Silent Steppe: The Story of a Kazakh Nomad Under Stalin / Nursultan Nazarbayev My Life, My Times and the Future / Ilyas Esenberlin Nomads / Mukhtar Auezov Abai (translation sought)
- Kenya Binyavanga Wainaina One Day I Will Write About This Place / Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o A Grain of Wheat; Wizard of the Crow / Philo Ikonya Kenya, Will You Marry Me? / NK Read Children of Saba / Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor Dust / Nanjala Nyabola Travelling While Black
- Kiribati Teweiariki Teaero Waa in Storms
- Kurdistan* Jalal Barzanji The Man in Blue Pyjamas.
- Kuwait Saif Marzooq al-Shamlan Pearling in the Arabian Gulf / Jehan S Rajab Invasion Kuwait / Haya al-Mughni Women in Kuwait / Danderma The Chronicles of Dathra, a Dowdy Girl from Kuwait
- Kyrgyzstan Chinghiz Aitmatov Jamilia; The Place of the Skull; Farewell Gul’sary; The Day Lasts More than a Hundred Years; Short Novels; White Steamship; Tales of the Mountains and Steppes; Cranes Fly Early;Time to Speak; Mother Earth and Other Stories
- Laos Outhine Bounyavong Mother’s Beloved
- Latvia David Bezmozgis The Free World / Agate Nesaule A Woman in Amber / Inga Zolude A Solace for Adam’s Tree / Sandra Kalniete With Dance Shoes in Siberian Snows / Janis Klidzejs The Child of Man (translation sought)
- Lebanon Joumana Haddad I Killed Scheherazade / Elias Khoury Yalo; Gate of the Sun / Hanan al-Shaykh One Thousand and One Nights; The Locust and the Bird / Jabbour Douhaiy June Rain / Alexandra Chreiteh Always Coca-Cola / Iman Humaydan Wild Mulberries / Amin Maalouf Samarkand; Leo the African / Rashid al-Daif Dear Mr Kawabata / Amin al Rihani / Gibran Khalil Gibran / Najwa Barakat Oh Salaam!
- Lesotho Thomas Mofolo Chaka / AS Mopeli-Paulus Blanket Boy’s Moon; The World and the Cattle / Morabo Morojele How We Buried Puso / Various Basali! Stories by and about women in Lesotho
- Liberia Helene Cooper The House at Sugar Beach / Ellen Johnson Sirleaf This Child Will Be Great / Mardia Stone Konkai: Living Between Two Worlds
- Libya Hisham Matar In the Country of Men; Anatomy of a Disappearance / Ibrahim Al-Khoni Anubis: A Desert Novel; Gold Dust; The Animists; The Bleeding of the Stone; The Puppet; The Seven Veils of Seth / Ahmed Fagi Homeless Rats; 30 Short Stories
- Liechtenstein Iren Nigg / Stefan Sprenger / Heinrich Harrer Seven Years in Tibet / CC Bergius The Noble Forger
- Lithuania Laura Sintija Černiauskaitė / Various No Men, No Cry / Ricardas Gavelis Vilnius Poker / Jonas Mekas / Juozas Baltusis / Andrius Tapinas Hour of the Wolf / Balys Sruoga Forest of the Gods / Antanas Škėma The White Shroud / Laimonas Briedis Vilnius: City of Strangers
- Luxembourg Jean Back Amateur / Robi Gottlieb-Cahen Minute Stories
- Macedonia (North Macedonia) Rumena Bužarovska Scribbles; Wisdom Tooth / Goce Smilevski Sigmund Freud’s Sister; Conversation with Spinoza / Elizabeta Bakovska On the way to Damascus
- Madagascar ed. Jacques Bourgeacq and Liliane Ramarosoa Voices from Madagascar / Naivo Beyond the Rice Fields
- Malawi Samson Kambalu The Jive Talker / Aubrey Kachingwe No Easy Task
- Malaysia Shih-Li Kow Ripples and Other Stories / A Samad Said / Adibah Amin This End of The Rainbow / Dina Zaman King of the Sea
- Maldives Abdullah Sadiq Dhon Hiyala and Ali Fulhu
- Mali Amadou Hampâté Bâ The Strange Destiny of Wangrin / Yambo Ouloguem Bound to Violence
- Malta Immanuel Mifsud Happy Weekend / Pierre Mejlak / Simon Bartolo / Oliver Friggieri / Herbert Ganado My Century / Trevor Zahra / Kilin (Mikiel Spiteri)
- Marshall Islands Ed Daniel Kelin Marshall Islands Legends and Stories / Marshallese school students (the Unbound Bookmaker Project) The Important Book about Majuro / Jack Niedenthal For the Good of Mankind / Bob Barclay In Melal: A Novel of the Pacific / Dirk R Spennemann Bwebwenatoon etto: a collection of Marshallese legends and traditions
- Mauritania Mohamed Bouya Bamba Angels of Mauritania and the Curse of the Language / Mbarek Ould Beyrouk The Desert and the Drum
- Mauritius Anand Mulloo Watch Them Go Down / Barlen Pyamootoo Benares / Nathacha Appanah, tr. Geoffrey Strachan The Last Brother
- Mexico Juan Pablo Villalobos Down the Rabbit Hole / Octavio Paz The Labyrinth of Solitude (trans. Lysander Kemp) / Laura Esquivel Like Water for Chocolate (trans. Carol Christensen and Thomas Christensen) / Martín Solares The Black Minutes / Carlos Fuentes / Jorge Volpi / Rosario Castellanos / Carmen Boullosa / Mario Bellatín / Elena Garro / Juan Rulfo / Elena Poniatowska / Sergio Pitol / Juan Rulfo Pedro Paramo / Valeria Luiselli Faces in the Crowd / Fernanda Melchor Hurricane Season / Jazmina Barrera Linea Nigra
- Micronesia, Federated States of Luelen Bernart The Book of Luelen
- Moldova Ion Drutse Moldavian Autumn; The Story of an Ant / Vladimir Lorchenkov The Good Life Elsewhere
- Monaco ed. Richard and Danae Projetti Grace Kelly: Princesse du Cinema
- Mongolia Galsan Tschinag The Blue Sky
- Montenegro Petar II Petrović-Njegoš The Mountain Wreath / Andrej Nikolaidis / Xenia Popovich A Lullaby for No Man’s Wolf
- Morocco Diss Chraïbi Heirs to the Past; Le Passé Simple (The Simple Past) / Tahar Ben Jelloun The Sacred Night; The Sand Child; This Blinding Absence of Light (trans. Linda Coverdale); A Palace in the Old Village (trans. Linda Coverdale) / Bensalem Himmich The Polymath / Mohammed Achaari The Arch and the Butterfly / Fatima Mernissi / Muhammad Shukri For Bread Alone / Muhammad Barrada The Game of Forgetting
- Mozambique Mia Couto The Sleepwalking Land; Under the Frangipani / Paulina Chiziane Niketche / Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa Ualalapi / Luis Bernardo Honwana We Killed Mangy Dog / Paulina Chiziane The First Wife
- Myanmar (Burma) Cho Tu Zaw / Ma Thida / Nu Nu Yi Inwa Smile as they Bow
- Namibia Joseph Diescho Troubled Waters / Neshani Andreas The Purple Violet of Oshaantu
- Nauru Timothy Detudamo Legends, Traditions and Tales of Nauru / Ben Bam Solomon et al Stories from Nauru
- Nepal Samrat Upadhyay Buddha’s Orphans / Ajit Baral The Lazy Conman and Other Stories / Parijat Blue Mimosa / Jagadish Ghimire Antarman ko yatra / Prajwal Parajuly The Gurkha’s Daughter
- Netherlands Harry Mulisch The Discovery of Heaven / Cees Noteboom Lost Paradise; All Souls’ Day; Rituals / Tessa de Loo / Gerbrand Bakker The Twin / Kader Abdolah The House of the Mosque / Abdelkader Benali / Jan van Mersbergen Tomorrow Pamplona / Arthur Japin The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi / Tommy Wieringa Little Caesar / Bernlef Out of Mind / Jan Wolkers Turkish Delight / WF Hermans The Darkroom of Damocles / Arnon Grunberg Tirza; Skin and Hair / Esther Gerritsen Craving / Nescio Amsterdam Stories / Gerard Reve The Evenings / Herman Koch Dear Mr M
- New Zealand Charlotte Grimshaw Singularity / Maurice Shadbolt Season of the Jew / Keri Hulme The Bone People / Lloyd Jones Mr Pip / Alan Duff Once Were Warriors / Witi Ihimaera Tangi / Janet Frame / Patricia Grace Potiki / Eleanor Catton The Luminaries
- Nicaragua Gioconda Belli Infinity in the Palm of her Hand
- Niger recounted by Nouhou Malio The Epic of Askia Mohammed
- Nigeria Wole Soyinka The Interpreters; Season of Anomy / Toyin Falola A Mouth Sweeter than Salt / Lola Shoneyin The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives / Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Americanah; Half of a Yellow Sun / Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart
- North Korea Ri In Mo My Life and Faith / Kye Wol Hyang
- Norway Karl Ove Knausgaard My Struggle / Per Petterson To Siberia; Out Stealing Horses (trans. Ann Born) / Knut Hamsun Hunger / Lars Saabye Christensen The Half Brother / Jan Wiese The Naked Madonna / Linn Ullmann Before You Sleep / Agnar Mykle Lasso Round the Moon / Gerd Brantenberg Egalia’s Daughters / Sigrid Undset Kristin Lavransdatter (trans. Tiina Nunnally) / Carl Frode Tiller Encircling / Tarjei Vesaas The Ice Palace / Helga Flatland A Modern Family
- Oman Ibrahim Farghali Smiles of Saints / Khadija bint Alawi Al-Dhahab My Grandmother’s Stories / Unni Wikan Behind the Veil in Arabia: Women in Oman / Abdulaziz Al Farsi Earth Weeps, Saturn Laughs
- Pakistan Mohsin Hamid Moth Smoke; The Reluctant Fundamentalist / Sara Suleri Meatless Days / Bapsi Sidhwa Ice Candy Man; An American Brat; The Pakistani Bride/ Bina Shah A Season for Martyrs; Slum Child / Jamil Ahmad The Wandering Falcon / Daniyal Mueenuddin In Other Rooms, Other Wonders / HM Naqvi Home Boy / Uzma Aslam Khan / Musharraf Ali Farooqi The Story of a Widow; Between Clay and Dust / Ali Sethi The Wish Maker / Kamila Shamsie Kartography; Broken Verses; Burnt Shadows / Mohammed Hanif / Bina Shah A Season for Martyrs
- Palau Susan Kloulechad Spirits’ Tides
- Palestine Ibtisam Barakat Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood / Sahar Khalifeh Wild Thorns / Susan Abulhawa Mornings in Jenin / Mahmoud Shukair Mordechai’s Moustache and his Wife’s Cats, and Other Stories / Sonia Nimr, tr. Marcia Lynx Qualey Wondrous Journeys in Strange Lands
- Panama Juan David Morgan The Golden Horse / Carlos Russell
- Papua New Guinea Russell Soaba Maiba / Regis Stella Gutsini Posa; Mata Sara / Russell Soaba Maiba / Bernard Narokobi Two Seasons / Vincent Eri The Crocodile / Nash Sorariba / Michael Somare Sana /
- Paraguay Augusto Roa Bastos I, the Supreme
- Peru Mario Vargas Llosa Death in the Andes; Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (trans. Ursule Molinaro, Hedwig Rappolt); The Storyteller (trans. Helen Lane) / Jaime Bayly / José María Arguedas / Santiago Roncagliolo
- Philippines Charlson Ong / Joel Toledo / Miguel Syjuco Illustrado / F Sionil José / Jessica Hagedorn Dogeaters / Bino Realuyo The Umbrella Country / Ninotchka Rosca State of War / Azucena Grajo Uranza Bamboo in the Wind / Marivi Soliven The Mango Bride
- Poland Stanislaw Lem / Olga Tokarczuk Primeval and Other Times; House of Day, House of Night / Pawel Huelle Cold Sea Tales; Castorp; The Last Supper; Mercedes Benz/ Zygmunt Miloszewski Entanglement; A Grain of Truth/ Witold Gombrowicz Pornografia / Wiesław Myśliwski Stone upon Stone / Magdalena Tulli In Red / Dorota Maslowska Snow White and Russian Red / Marek Krajewski The Eberhard Mock books / Grazyna Plebanek Illegal Liaisons / Antoni Libera Madame / Andrzej Stasiuk On the Road to Babadag; Dukla; Fado; Nine; White Raven / Stefan Chwin Death in Danzig / Michal Witkowski Lovetown / Jacek Hugo-Bader White Fever / Wojciech Jagielski The Night Wanderers / Kazimierz Moczarski Conversations with an Executioner / Wojciech Tochman Like Eating a Stone / Olga Tokarczuk Flights
- Portugal Eca de Queiroz The Mandarin and Other Stories / José Saramago Blindness; The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis; The Gospel According to Jesus Christ / Fernando Pessoa / Pero Vaz de Caminha Carta de Pêro Vaz de Caminha / Agustina Bessa-Luís
- Qatar Mohammed Ali Victory over Abu Derya: The Quest for Pearls in the Arabian Gulf / Abdul Aziz Al Mahmoud The Corsair
- Romania Herta Müller The Passport / Filip and Matei Florian The Baiut Alley Lads / Mircea Cartarescu / Mircea Eliade / Bogdan Teodorescu Sword
- Russia Alina Bronsky The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine / Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (trans. Ralph Parker) / Vladimir Sorokin Day of the Oprichnik / Mikhail Lermontov A Hero of Our Time / Mikhail Bulgakov The Master and Margarita (trans. Michael Glenny) / Roman Senchin MINUS / Alan Cherchesov Requiem for the Living /Off the Beaten Tracks: Stories by Russian Hitchhikers / Oleg Zaionchkovski Happiness is Possible / PD Ouspensky Strange Life of Ivan Osokin / Alan Cherchesov Requiem for the Living / Leo Tolstoy Anna Karenina / Guzel Yakhina Zuleikha
- Rwanda Philip Gourevitch We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with our Families / Jean Hatzfeld Into the Quick of Life / Barassa Teta / John Rusimbi By the Time She Returned / Gilbert Gatore The Past Ahead / Gaël Faye, tr. Sarah Ardizzone Small Country
- Saint Kitts and Nevis Caryl Phillips / Bertram Roach Only God Can Make a Tree
- Saint Lucia Derek Walcott Omeros / Garth St Omer A Room on the Hill; Shades of Grey; Nor Any Country; J-, Black Bam and the Masqueraders / Dr Earl Long Consolation; Voices from a Drum / McDonald Dixon Season of Mist / Michael Aubertin Neg Maron
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines H Nigel Thomas Spirits in the Dark; Behind the Face of Winter; Return to Arcadia / George Thomas Ruler in Hairoona / Cecil Browne The Moon is Following Me / Richard Byron-Cox Were Mama’s Tears in Vain? / Marcia King-Gamble / Trish St Hill / Nickie Williams /
- Samoa Misa Telefoni Retzlaff Love and Money / Lani Wendt Young Telesa: The Covenant Keeper / Albert Wendt The Adventures of Vela; Sons for the Return Home; Pouliuli / Sia Figiel Where We Once Belonged; The Girl in the Moon Circle; They Who do not Grieve
- San Marino Giuseppe Rossi The Republic of San Marino
- Sao Tome and Principe Olinda Beja The Shepherd’s House
- Saudi Arabia Rajaa Al-Sanea Girls of Riyadh / Raja Alem My Thousand and One Nights: A Novel of Mecca / Abdul Rahman Munif Endings; Cities of Salt; The Trench; Variations on Night and Day / ed. Abubaker Bagader Voices of Change / Ghazi Abdul Rahman Al Gosaibi
- Senegal Mariama Bâ So Long a Letter / Ken Bugul Riwan ou Le Chemin de Sable (Riwan or The Path of Sand) / Boubacar Boris Diop Doomi Golo: The Hidden Notebooks
- Serbia Milos Crnjanski A Novel About London; Migrations / Danilo Kiš / David Albahari Bait / Milorad Pavic Dictionary of the Khazars / Srdjan Valjarevic Lake Como / Zoran Živković
- Seychelles Glynn Burridge Voices / William Travis Beyond the Reefs; Shark for Sale
- Sierra Leone Aminatta Forna The Memory of Love / Ishmael Beah A Long Way Gone
- Singapore Su-Chen Christine Lim Fistful of Colours
- Slovakia Pavol Rankov / Peter Pišťanek Rivers of Babylon / Daniela Kapitánová Samko Tale’s Cemetery Book / Jana Beňová Seeing People Off
- Slovenia Slavoj Žižek / Nataša Kramberger Heaven in a Blackberry Bush, a Novel in Stories / Andrej Blatnik You do Understand / Andrej Skubic Fužine Blues / Miha Mazzini The German Lottery / Vladimir Bartol Alamut / Luka Novak The Golden Shower or What Men Want / Vladimir Bartol Alamut
- Solomon Islands John Saunana The Alternative / ed. Alice Aruhe’eta Pollard and Marilyn J. Waring Being the First: Storis Blong Oloketa Mere lo Solomon Aelan / Celo Kulagoe
- Somalia Nuruddin Farah Secrets; Sweet and Sour Milk
- South Africa Gavin Evans Dancing Shoes is Dead / Ingrid Winterbach The Book of Happenstance / Damon Galgut The Quarry / Kgebetli Moele The Book of the Dead / Diane Awerbuck Cabin Fever / Siphiwo Mahala African Delights / Henrietta Rose-Innes Nineveh / Ivan Vladislavic The Loss Library / Nelson Mandela The Long Walk to Freedom / Alan Paton Cry, the Beloved Country / Bryce Courtenay The Power of One / Dalene Matthee Fiela’s Child; Circles in the Forest / Sibusiso Nyembezi The Rich Man of Pietermaritzburg
- South Korea Hwang Sok-yong The Guest; The Old Garden / Lee Hye-Kyung A House on the Road / Shin Kyung-Sook Please Look After Mom; Violets / Han Kang The Vegetarian
- South Sudan Julia Duany ‘To Forgive is Divine Not Human’
- Spain Miguel Delibes Five Hours with Mario / Javier Cercas Soldiers of Salamis; The Anatomy of a Moment (trans. Anne McClean) / Alberto Mendez The Blind Sunflowers / Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote (trans. Edith Grossman) / Carlos Ruiz Zafón The Shadow of the Wind / Enrique Vila-Matas Dublinesque / Juan Goytisolo Exiled from Almost / Eva Baltasar Boulder
- Everywhere / Antonio Muñoz Molina Sefarad / Javier Marías The Infatuations / Juan Marsé The Snares of Memory
- Sri Lanka Romesh Gunesekera Reef / Carl Muller The Jam Fruit Tree / Shehan Karunatilaka Chinaman / Ru Freeman A Disobedient Girl / Siri Gunasinghe The Shadow / Kathleen Jayawardena Circles of Fire / S Ponnuthurai Ritual / Sunethra Rajakarunanayake Metta / Keerthi Welisarage The Doomed / Martin Wickramasinghe
- Sudan Amir Tag Elsir The Grub Hunter / Tarek Eltayeb The Palm House / Tayeb Salih Season of Migration to the North / Leila Aboulela Minaret
- Suriname Cynthia Mcleod The Cost of Sugar; The Free Negress
- Swaziland (Eswatini) Sarah Mkhonza Weeding the Flowerbeds
- Sweden Henning Mankell Chronicler of the Winds / Per Olov Enquist The March of the Musicians (trans. Joan Tate); The Story of Blanche and Marie / Jens Lapidus Easy Money / Karin Altenberg Island of Wings / Jonas Hassen Khemiri Montecore / Hjalmar Soderberg Doctor Glas / Lotta Lotass / Amelie Posse / John Ajvide Lindqvist Let the Right One In / Jonas Jonasson The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared / Lena Andersson Wilful Disregard
- Switzerland Friedrich Dürrenmatt The Pledge / Hansjörg Schertenlieb A Happy Man / Gottfried Keller A Village Romeo and Juliet / Annemarie Schwarzenbach / Friedrich Glauser In Matto’s Realm / Peter Bichsel Children’s Stories / Aglaja Veteranyi Why the Child is Cooking in the Polenta / Hugo Loetscher Noah / Gerhard Meier Isle of the Dead / Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz Beauty on Earth
- Syria Fadi Azzam Sarmada / Zakaria Tamer Breaking Knees / Ghadda Samman / Rafik Schami Damascus Nights / Hassan Bahri / Hanna Mina Sun on a Cloudy Day / Khaled Khalifa In Praise of Hatred / Shahla Ujayli A Bed for the King’s Daughter
- Taiwan Su Wei-chen / Pai Hsien-yung Crystal Boys / Maggie Shen King An Excess Male
- Tajikistan Andrei Volos Hurramabad / Sadriddin Aini The Sands of Oxus: Boyhood Reminiscences of Sadriddin Aini
- Tanzania Muhammed Said Abdulla / Abdulrazak Gurnah Desertion / Edwin Semzaba / Ismael Mbise Blood on Our Land / Agoro Anduru / Adam Shafi / Bethsaida Orphan Girls’ Secondary School Their Voices, Their Stories / Sophia Mustafa Broken Reed / Tengio Urrio The Girl from Uganda / S Ndunguru The Lion of Yola / Ronny Mintjens More Than a Game
- Thailand Chart Korbjitti The Judgement; No Way Out; Time; Mad Dogs & Co / Kukrit Pramoj / Kampoon Boontawee A Child of the Northeast / Saneh Sangsuk The White Shadow: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Rascal
- Togo Jeanette D Ahonsou / Pyabelo Chaold Kouly / Tété-Michel Kpomassie An African in Greenland
- Tonga Joshua Taumoefolau A Providence of War / Epeli Hau’ofa Tales of the Tikongs
- Trinidad and Tobago VS Naipaul A House for Mr Biswas; In a Free State / Monique Roffey The White Woman on the Green Bicycle / Robert Antoni / Keith Jardim Near Open Water / Earl Lovelace Is Just a Movie / Vahni Capildeo One Scattered Skeleton / Errol John Moon on a Rainbow Shawl
- Tunisia Habib Selmi The Scents of Marie-Claire / Abdelwahab Meddeb Talismano / Hassouna Mosbahi A Tunisian Tale / Ali Douagi / Mahmoud Messadi
- Turkey (Türkiye) Orhan Pamuk Snow / Latife Tekin Dear Shameless Death / Elif Shafak The Forty Rules of Love / Erendiz Atasu The Other Side of the Mountain / Murathan Mungan / Orhan Kemal / Halide Edip Adıvar / Reşat Nuri Güntekin / Refik Halit Karay / Sabahattin Ali / Yaşar Kemal / Kemal Tahir / Fakir Baykurt / Sait Faik Abasıyanık / Güneli Gün On the Road to Baghdad / Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar The Time Regulation Institute / Sema Kaygusuz The Well of Trapped Words / Ahmet Altan Endgame
- Turkmenistan John Kropf Unknown Sands / Ak Welsapar The Tale of Aypi; Cobra
- Tuvalu Various Tuvalu: A history
- Uganda Okot p’Bitek Song of Lawino / Moses Isegawa Abyssinian Chronicles; Snakepit / Doreen Baingan Tropical Fish: Stories Out Of Entebbe / Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi Kintu / Timothy Wangusa Upon This Mountain / Julius Ocwinyo Fate of the Banished; The Unfulilled Dream; Footprints of the Outsider / Goretti Kyomuhendo The First Daughter; Waiting; Secrets No More / Glaydah Namukasa Voice of Dream / Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi The First Woman
- Ukraine Andrey Kurkov Death and the Penguin / Theodore Odrach Wave of Terror / Nikolai Gogol Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka / Oleg Sentsov Life Went on Anyway: Stories
- United Arab Emirates Qais Sedki Gold Ring / Maha Gargash The Sand Fish / Ameera Al Hakawati Desperate in Dubai / Mohammad Al Murr The Wink of the Mona Lisa; Dubai Tales / Deepak Unnikrishnan Temporary People
- United Kingdom Angus MacLellan Stories from South Uist / Christina Hall To the Edge of the Sea / Deborah Levy Swimming Home / Siân Melangell Dafydd Y Trydydd Peth / Vanessa Gebbie / Caryl Lewis Martha, Jack and Shanco / Virginia Woolf / Kazuo Ishiguro The Remains of the Day / JK Rowling / ed. Nikesh Shukla The Good Immigrant / Graeme Armstrong The Young Team
- United States of America Neil Gaiman American Gods / Sean Murphy The Time of New Weather / Norton Juster The Phantom Tollbooth / Michael Shaara The Killer Angels / Barbara Kingsolver The Poisonwood Bible / Cormac Mccarthy All the Pretty Horses / Eliot Weinberger / Jhumpa Lahiri / Amy Tan / Sandra Cisneros / Tomas Pynchon/ Hunter S Thompson Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas / Harriette Arnow The Dollmaker
- Uruguay Juan Carlos Onetti The Shipyard; The Pit and Tonight / Felisberto Hernández Lands of Memory / Rafael Courtoisie / Cristina Peri Rossi /Eduardo Galeano / Mario Benedetti / Horacio Quiroga The Decapitated Chicken
- Uzbekistan Sabit Madaliev / Hamid Ismailov The Railway / Bibish The Dancer from Khiva: One Muslim Woman’s Quest for Freedom
- Vanuatu Sethy Regenvau Laef Blong Mi: From Village to Nation
- Vatican City Luigi Marinello & The Millenari Shroud of Secrecy of Gone with the Wind in the Vatican
- Venezuela Francisco Suniaga / Alberto Barrera Tyszka The Sickness / Ana Teresa Torres / Romulo Gallegos / Federico Vegas Falke
- Vietnam Phan Hon Nhien The Joker; Cold Eyes; Left Wing / Bao Ninh The Sorrow of War (trans. Frank Palmos, Phan Thanh Hao) / Nguyen Nhat Anh / Nguyen Ngoc Thuan Open the Window, Eyes Closed / Duong Thu Huong Paradise of the Blind
- Yemen Wajdi al-Ahdal A Land without Jasmine / Zayd Mutee’ Dammaj The Hostage
- Zambia Gaile Parkin Baking Cakes in Kigali / Field Ruwe / Binwell Sinyangwe A Cowrie of Hope / Namwali Serpell The Old Drift
- Zimbabwe Petinah Gappah An Elegy for Easterly / Tsitsi Dangarembga Nervous Conditions / Brian Chikwava Harare North / Tendai Huchu The Hairdresser of Harare / Shimmer Chinodya Chioniso and Other Stories / Stephen Lungu Out of the Black Shadows / Christopher Mlalazi They are Coming; Running with Mother
*This extra entry represented territories not on the list of UN recognised nations (plus Taiwan) that I used for this project. It was selected by a poll of blog visitors from a list of nominations.
I don’t monetise this site or receive any external sponsorship for maintaining it. I fund it from the money I earn through my published writing. If you are able to support me buying one of my books, you’ll help me to keep this blog as a free resource for readers everywhere.
Spain: Miguel Delibes, “Cinco Horas con Mario” (Five Hours with Mario), published in 1966, in which a widow watches over the body of her husband in a provincial town and recalls their life together. I haven’t read this particular novel but it is one of his most popular and gives an insight into post-war Spain. His short stories are fantastic too.
Thanks Kirsty. Sounds great – I’ll add it to the list
you should read also this one: The Dervish and Death (1974) Bosnia and Hercegovina.
Thanks – sounds intriguing!
What a gift! Thank you.
Thanks – you’re very welcome
I AM A BIG FAN OF YOU JUST WANTED TO SUGGEST YOU A BOOK TO READ .
Thanks Vardhan. Feel free to write your suggestion here.
You should read this book:
“The happiness of Kati” I think it’s so interesting and this book is Thai book that translated in many language such as american english japanese chinese .
I’m your fanclub. I think this website is a creative site.
brilliant idea for a blog on reading! I’ve found Gomorrah by Saviano in the list, Great book, interesting movie. Zero,Zero,Zero, by the same author keeps on showing the evils of our modern world, addicted to cocaine…both reviews on my blog.
Thanks Ornella. Yes, Saviano is excellent, isn’t he? Best of luck with your blog
tks a lot! same with yours..cheers
What a great job you’ve done ! I bet you have seen lots of epic things around woirld although you just sit in your chair~ As a Chinese, I am very glad to see many fictions I loved are listed, hoping you love them as well !
Thanks very much. Yes it was quite a journey! Glad you like my Chinese suggestions.
after u, i got a good idea that i wanted to read all fairy.i love it.Do u know ONCE UPON A TIME?a film showed mang storys.i love it.
i am not good at english,if there were some words impolite or wrong,forgive me.
Great stuff – good luck with your adventure!
For Guatemala I’d recommend I, Rigoberta Menchu…the autobiography of Rigoberta Menchu, a mayan rights activist with a first hand account of the GT civil war.
Thanks – it certainly sounds intriguing!
Poland: you should read “The Witcher” its world known fantasy, beautiful
Thanks – it sounds very interesting
That is a really great suggestion, you really should read it! It’s becoming more and more famous nowadays (due to all the computer games) and I must say it is understandable. I hated fantasy until I read it, and now I’m looking for more 🙂 The author is Andrzej Sapkowski and “The Witcher” consists of 5 vol. and 2 books composed of short stories (I recommend starting with the short stories, they will allow you to grasp the atmosphere in those 5 vol. better).
Hungary: “The Door” by Magda Szabo–This is probably my favorite book from any country.
Thanks – this is on my to-read list!
Thanks for list. I want to read more Latin American fiction and this gives me some ideas. I live in France (American origin) so I would add m.barberry s, elegance of the hedgehog. It s a gem and very enjoyable to read. I also love Maupassant. An oldie.
Neil Gaiman American Gods — NEIL GAIMAN is british not american
Thanks Tim. Yes, I know Gaiman is a British citizen. This was one of the great test cases of the project to try and see what makes a book ‘from’ a particular place. You can read about the reasons for this choice here https://ayearofreadingtheworld.com/2012/03/16/united-states-supersize-gods/
What an amazing collection of books! Well done you! I Hope to read them all before I kick the bucket. I’m from the Philippines and I recently finished Smaller and Smaller Circles by F. H. Batacan. It’s widely regarded as the first Fiipino crime novel. I think would be a great addition to your list if you so choose 🙂
Thanks! This sounds intriguing
Here is a list of Turkish literature novels for you!
-Sabahattin Ali, Madonna in a Fur Coat
-Reşat Nuri Güntekin, Çalikuşu (the Wren)
-Orhan Kemal, Cemile
-Yaşar Kemal, Memed My Hawk
-Kemal Tahir, The People of the Captured City
-Halide Edip Adıvar, The Shirt of Flame, The Turkish Ordeal, The Clown and His Daughter
-Sait Faik Abasıyanık, A Useless Man
-Orhan Pamuk, The Museum of Innocence, Other Colors
-Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, Mind at Peace (Huzur)
This is a wonderful list – thanks very much!
These are really interesting books and I think it would be nice if you would read them: Nikolay Ostrovsky “How the steel was tempered”, Victor Pelevin “Generation P”, Vasiliy Shukshin “Stories from Siberia village” , Boris Vasiliev “The dawns are quiet here”
I’m a Sànish reader, I discovered your website looking for books of other countries,. As a Spanish reader I recommend federico Garcçia Lorca: Poeta en Nueva York. And for fantasy readers: Laura Gallego: The Idhun Chronicles. This is her website: https://www.lauragallego.com/en/books/books-in-english/
Good luck with the big read!
Love the idea, and best wishes with getting through it – we are trying to offer a worldwide overview of books by country on our site – http://www.theculturetrip.com – might come in handy for your project!
I think this is a fab idea and I wish you the best of luck.
Thanks Natasha. I’ll certainly need the luck…
I wish I had the time to read that many books these days. I will try to live vicariously through you 🙂
I can suggest a few from Serbia and from Bosnia. Also Try Ivo Andric (he is a Nobel prize winner for literature in 1961 and donated his money to libraries of Bosnia and Herzegovina.) He was a true Yugoslav, born to Croatian parents in Bosnia but lived his adult life in Serbia and considered himself a Serb. You should try reading the Bridge in the River Drina, but there are also shorter novels.
There is a Serb, Milos Crnjanski (or Trzrnjanski in some translations.) He lived in London and has written A Novel About London that you might find. I will enquire to my Macedonian friend of any Macedonian writer in translation.
For Montenegro you might be able to obtain in English something by Petar II Petrović-Njegoš, he was a Prince-Bishop (and apparently very handsome). He wrote a lot but the best known is his poem-novel The Mountain Wreath.
Brilliant, thanks Mira. I’m excluding writers I’ve read before, which knocks Marquez and Atwood off, but the others are all new to me so I will add them to the list. Thanks so much for your help.
I hope you read this book (river drina) . it is a great book (given to me as a present. bt a Montenegran) and criminally neglected despite winning the Nobel Prize
Thanks Angell. I have – it’s marvellous!
here I found this on Crnjanski:
Migrations has been translated into English (Harvill 1994, ISBN 0002730049), but with the author’s name transliterated as “Milos Tsernianski”.
Just remembered another Serbian that I did buy in English. Danilo Kis. Loads of his stuff in English and some are very short. ; )
Columbia – Anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Peru – Mario Vargas Llosa
Turkey – Orhan Pamuk
Slovenia – Zizek, a philosopher translated in English, (small work)
Canada – The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, or anything by Robertson Davis.
Just a correction, you spelled worng “Colombia” (it’s with an “O”)
Oh… I spelled wrong “wrong”! HAHAHA! (^_^)
Also, it’s Robertson Davies. Misspelled in the list, too!
Thanks Mike – I’ll sort that out.
Canada;Also try Not Wanted on the Voyage by Timothy Findlay;Galore by Michael Crummey.Tamarind Mem & The Hero’s Walk by Anita Bademi.
Thanks, I’ll look into these when I next update the list.
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For Bulgaria you should try Elias Canetti. He was born in Bulgaria to Shepardi Jewish family who were expelled from Spain in 15C. He also won Nobel prize for literature in 1981. He wrote Auto da Fe which was very popular in the 70s but his best work is his autobiography in 3 volumes …. (he did write in German so it may not qualify but I think it should as his writing is amazing and you will not find anything better from Bulgaria.). In any case, I recommend that anyone reads this as there is nothing like that that I’ve read.
By the way, do you speak any other languages?
All the best
Now this is interesting. Translator Ruth Martin recommended Canetti’s The Torch in My Ear for Austria. By the sounds of it, Canetti’s books could be in the running for four or five countries. I wonder how many other writers I’ll stumble across in this category…
I do read French and German and originally thought I would read some books in those languages for this project, but having talked about it and thought about it I’ve decided to stick to reading in English. The reason is that I want this project to be about finding out how easy (or hard) it is for one person in London to access the literature of the world and a lot of that comes down to the availability (or not) of translations. Reading in other languages would sidestep that issue.
The Torch in my Ear is the second volume of his three-volume autobiography followed by The Play of The Eyes. But he starts with The Tongue Set Free which is exceptional. In fact this has reminded me to read it again.
I think you might find Che Guevara could be ‘claimed’ by a few SA countries as their own not excluding Cuba of course.
May I second the choice for France of Alain-Furnier. The Wanderer was the name given in US but here in UK, it was published under it’s original title Le Grand Meaulnes.
I see that you have not filled in the Croatian entry. The best choice here would be Miroslav Krleza. His book On The Edge or Reason has been translated into English – I have a copy, but there could be others. He really is very good and worth a read. Of you fancy something more modern, I can suggest Dubravka Ugresic. She wrote a lot after the break up of Yugoslavia and emigrated to Holland. I personally did not read anything of hers but she did win some prizes in Europe for her supposedly antiwar stance.
Have you started reading yet? I could loan you some of the books I’ve mentionedif you like.
All the best
Thanks Mira. I’ve put The Tongue Set Free on the list for Bulgaria and will add on your Croatia suggestions too.
I haven’t started reading yet – I’m sticking to the 2012 limit, so will only be able to turn the first page on 1 January. At the moment I’m just trying to gather as many good recommendations as possible, although I will try to get hold of some books before the start of the year so that I’m all set when the clock strikes 12.
If you are able to lend me some of the books, that would be a great help.
Thanks again for your excellent suggestions
This is a great list! I thought I was reading books with a variety of settings, but I’ve got some work to do. I’ve bookmarked this page for future use. You’ve even got some Canadian authors I haven’t heard of before.
Have you read all these books?
May I suggest, for more Canadian content, Thomson Highway Kiss of the Fur Queen, anything by Richard Wagamese, Gil Adamson’s Ridgerunner has particularly beautiful descriptions of the Rockies, W.O. Mitchell’s Who Has Seen The Wind is set in the prairies, Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery is on PEI. I could keep going, but those books represent their origins very well.
Thanks Nancy. Happy reading to you!
For Burundi / Rwanda, you can read Small Country by Gael Faye.
Yes, this was a Book of the month of mine a few years ago. It’s great!
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Tasting the Sky, a Palestinian Childhood (Macmillan, 2007) by Ibtisam Barakat for Palestine – The book won many awards and is in several languages. Reviewers called it “astonishingly beautiful” and a “masterpiece.”
From North Korea, I highly recommend, “My Life and Faith”, by Ri In Mo, an autobiography from one of the world’s longest serving political prisoners. A triumph of the human spirit, representing a point of view virtually unknown in the Western World.
This looks like a wonderful idea and I wish you best of luck with it – reading works from all 196 countries is a true challenge!
I note you’re missing a few European countries – if you’re short of ideas you might like to check out the Dalkey Archive’s Best European Fiction series – http://www.dalkeyarchive.com/collections/besteuropeanfiction/ – which contains stories from across Europe and would cover off the Ukraine, Slovakia, Liechtenstein, Macedonia and Lithuania depending on which year’s anthology you bought. 2011 looks to be the most comprehensive. Nothing from Andorra or San Marino in any of them, though, disappointingly.
Brilliant, thanks Elie. I shall definitely look into this.
I see that you have nothing for the Netherlands yet. Maybe look at irisonbooks blog. She did a month of Dutch literature, http://irisonbooks.wordpress.com/tag/a-month-of-dutch-literature/ I’m sure there will be something you might like to read.
Thanks – great suggestion. I’ll have look.
I can help out with the Pacific countries BUT most will be locally published and need to be sourced from the University of the South Pacific, and you need to think carefully about the difference between Pacific authors and books about the Pacific (does Robert Louis Stevenson count as a Samoan author? I say no – try Misa Telefoni instead, although his writing is less literature and more bodice ripper).
So happy to help if you want to persevere with Tuvalu, but note I leave in April so needs to be done soon.
Thanks Chakriya. I’d really appreciate any help you can give me. I agree with you about Robert Louis Stevenson; while I am accepting books by writers of other nationalities for some countries, there has to be a strong connection between the writer and the place for it to count. In general, though, I am keen to get as close as I can to writing that is from rather than simply about each sovereign state. Misa Telefoni sounds great – the books don’t all have to be high literature – in fact the more variety the more interesting the project will be.
Stunning list – interested in the Private Lives of Trees. I attempted the Secret Lives of Plants once….intense….and recently saw the Secret Lives of Lobsters. You’d have to google the author?! Amazing project!
Thanks Sally – Happy New Year!
Just to let you know, I’m linking to you on my blog. Loving your reviews so far!
Thanks Helen. I’m returning the compliment. Congratulations on your Unbound Press Best Novel Award.
By the way, I see you lived in NYC for a while. I’m here for the next week. If you have any suggestions of must dos, it would be great to have them – I know the city quite well and have done all the major touristy things on previous trips so it would be good to have some inside recommendations…
Thanks so much! Well, McNally Jackson is an excellent bookshop that hosts reading events and has one of those Espresso machines (instant book printing) which is entrancing to watch – and leads to a pile of interesting self-pubbed poetry being available in the shop. http://mcnallyjackson.com/ It also has a pleasant cafe where you can warm up and pour over your findings. There is also http://bluestockings.com/ for books and events with a feminist/LGBTQ flair.
Most of what I got up to in NYC was eating tasty things, writing and visiting the Met over and over (you’ve probably been there, though if you haven’t a good tip is it’s suggested donation, so you don’t have to pay $20 unless you feel like you want to).
Koreantown is a great destination if you are hungry for hearty food and generally nicer waiters (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/07/nyregion/07koreatown.html), although that depends if Korean food is to your taste (I may have a slight obsession with it).
Feel free to ask for any other more specific recommendations – my father-in-law lives in NYC and is a great source of up to date info which I can pass on.
Brilliant – thanks for that. My next post is going to be on a book I picked up in McNally Jackson the other day! It’s great and the staff are so nice. They didn’t seem to mind us pulling most of their world literature on to the floor and rifling through it making copious notes…
Korean town sounds intriguing. We will give it a look. Have a great weekend.
Best wishes for a great reading year. I just updated my blogroll to switch to your new project. It looks like you have some armchair adventures ahead of you. Having just finished eleven of the novels on the Man Asian Lit Prize longlist, I am especially interested in the books you’ve chosen from that region.
Thanks Fay – are there any among the books you have recently read that you would recommend I add to the list?
My personal shortlist for the Man Asian Lit Prize included:
The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad (Pakistan).
The Good Muslim by Tahmina Anam (Bangladesh).
The Sly Company of People Who Care by Rahul Bhattacharya (India).
River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh (India).
Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin (S. Korea).
Dream of Ding Village by Yan Lianke (China).
The judges chose seven books this year, and five of my six choices coincided with theirs. My miss was The Good Muslim. They chose two other books that I skipped.
Hope you find something here that looks good. I liked them all.
Brilliant – thanks!
I see that, so far, you have nothing on your list for St Kitts. Quite a well-known writer born there (parents emigrated to the UK, went to Oxford, now teaches at Yale) is Caryl Phillips. He’s written fiction, non-fiction, film scripts etc etc. His books should be easy enough to find.
Thanks Sue – Caryl Philips sounds ideal. I shall look him up…
Just discovered your project.
A book group I belong to started off reading around the world.
After some years we diversified but made major discoveries along the way including Kadare and:
Amin Maalouf Lebanese author writing in French from France covers other countries too, excellent and well translated.
Some of us have read and enjoyed Leonardo Padura from Cuba – superb conveyer of atmosphere – writer of literary detective fiction, very good on Hemingway and currently writing on the Cuban who killed Trotsky. Translated into English by lecturer from London Met Uni..
A marvellous project.
I could unearth a list if you like!?
Many thanks Carol – that Padura and Maalouf sound intriguing. And yes, it would be great to have a look at your list if it’s not too much trouble to dig it out! Thanks again. Ann
PS another Guardian contributor Kapka Kassabova writes of other cultures including her parents: Bulgarian + New Zealand.. Poetry and prose.
Ah, interesting – I shall explore. Thanks
OK but prob too too long to post here?? I’d also be tempted to add comments especially re those I disliked (some of those you’ve listed as intentions to read above!). We didn’t all like Kadare while I found his style perfect for the madness that is Albania.
It’s fine to email it through my website address if you like – ann’at’annmorgan.me. But please feel free to post your comments about those you disliked here – the list above is very much work in progress and consists simply of valid suggestions I’ve had so far. Many countries are far from decided yet. It’s always good to get a bit of healthy debate going…
OK! From your list above I really disliked the writing by numbers of, and the dishonesty of the Kite Runner, shameful. A controversial response.
Andrew McGahan is a very interesting Australian novelist, his novel: The White Earth is about a man’s great passion for his land that overrides any humanitarian sympathies. He tries to dominate a boy into inheriting his mad ambition, nearly succeeding. Powerful, moving.
Elizabeth Jolley is a unique fabulous writer, English born, lived in Scotland too but emigrated to Australia, wrote much from there.
Alice Munro is a great Canadian writer.
Ngugi is on your list for Kenya, very strong meat and GREAT too.
I’ve read a lot of African authors, he is one of the best.
I’ll stop now I’m adding too much.
I’m not sure how to email you via the website unless this is it? I’ve roughly annotated our book group list now. I could paste it in here but seems unfair?
Thanks Carol – interesting food for thought here.
Interesting comments from CarolS. Literature is SO subjective. Like looking at paintings. I agree with her re Kite Runner – too melodramatic for a start. I couldn’t go on past 50 pages. Same goes for Asne Seierstad’s Bookseller of Kabul. But then is any book NOT worth looking at? How is fiction ever going to compete with non fiction? But then Hillary Mantel comes up with Wolf Hall and one thinks…hmmmm…. But then it’s all about the pleasure of meeting the story teller! Good luck the Choir Girl. Keep reading. x
Thanks Mira – yes, the line between fiction and non-fiction gets blurrier the more you look at it doesn’t it? I’ll do my best!
Hurray for this project! I’ve almost finished reading Abraham Verghese’s Cutting for Stone.ETHIOPIA/ERITREA, USA too. It’s been on my TBR mountain for ages. After a tough badly structured maybe over long?? first segment it has become momentous, unputdownable, marvellous and so worth persevering with through the beginning – vital to the novel. It’s taken me to a land I hadn’t met in literature before and to the true love of and for medicine and surgery. I’ve learnt an enormous amount from it.
I’m currently reading Beneath the Lion’s Gaze (Mengiste) for my Ethiopian title, really enjoying it! Recommended, if you haven’t chosen for Ethiopia yet.
Bradley, you may have read my mind. Finished the Mengiste yesterday. Post coming soon…
Great minds… (haha).
I’d just like to say I’m overwhelmed with admiration for your project, especially that you’re doing it in a year (you must be a speed reader?) – it’ll take me many years. AND you write such great reviews for them all (AND work AND keep up with your correspondence.) Do you have time for breakfast too? Congratulations on the fantastic job!
Thanks Bradley. It’s been a bit of a crazy year, but a fantastic experience! Eating breakfast as I type…
A few suggestions:
Mozambique: ‘Niketche’ (Paulina Chiziane); because it’s a cliché to only read Mia Couto and she needs more attention 🙂
Angola: ‘The Return of the Water Spirit’ (Pepetela), ‘Good Morning Comrades’ (Ondjaki)
Uruguay: ‘The Decapitated Chicken’ (Horácio Quiroga): a great collection of unsettling, morbid short-stories.
Excellent, thanks Miguel – I’ll look into these. Highlighting writers who deserve more international attention is a big part of what I’m trying to do here, so it’s great to have suggestions for less obvious choices
Hi again Miguel. I’ve looked into Paulina Chiziane’s Nikethce, which sounds great. Only problem is that the publisher that was going to publish the translation went bust before the book was finished – do you know of any other translations of Chiziane’s work?
This is such a wonderful idea. I know a few people that can help you fill in your African countries. Wendy at http://fabulosityreads.blogspot.com/ and check out Sidne reading challenge at http://vrc2012.blogspot.com/
Good Luck and I will be following along.
Thanks very much – I’ll check these out.
Wonderful work you’re doing… but I see that you put a book from Andorra… as you know, Andorra is a tiny country in the Pirenees mountain’s, and they speak Catalan. Catalonia is not a “country” -well, it is in the way of Scotland :-))) – and has a wonderful literature. Some books are translated into English -starting with the medieval Tirant lo Blanch, that Cervantes itself considered a wonderful book- Could i suggest you to visit the website of Institut Ramon Llull? It takes care os spanding Catalan literature abroad:
or the english version of the website:
All my best,
Thanks very much. The links sound great. Yes, I read a book by Catalan language writer Albert Salvado for Andorra.
Sadly, with 196 books to get through this year I don’t have time to read more than one book per country, but I will check out those links and add more titles to the list where I can so that other visitors to this site can read them. Thanks very much for taking the time to comment.
Glad to see that you have included Uruguay, my native country. You can read several contemporary Uruguayan women writers (poets and short-story writers) here: http://www.pulsamerica.co.uk/literature/
Good luck with your reading!
Thanks Laura – I’ll look into this. If you have any other suggestions for Uruguayan writers, I’d love to hear them too.
Oooh from Serbia you should read The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht – a wonderful book and the author is one of the New York Times best authors under 40 (she is 27).
I will be researching the best books by Honduran authors and let you know what I find
Ah yes, the Tiger’s Wife. I read it last year for my A Year of Reading Women, otherwise it would be a great suggestion. Honduras thoughts would be great
You should go through the 2011 and 2012 DSC Prize Longlists and Shortlists for some reading material.
– The Patience Stone – Atiq Rahimi – Longlisted 2012
– In other rooms, other wonders – Daniyal Mueenuddin – Shortlisted 2011
– Home Boy – HM Naqvi – Winner 2011
– The Thing About Thugs – Tabish Khair – Shortlisted 2012
And if you’re looking for any non-fiction – do get your hands on Aman Sethi’s A Free Man
That’s an excellent suggestion Vidushi. Thanks so much. I was not aware of the DSC Prize – I will check it out later today. Thanks for your top tips too.
Wow… this is an impressive list… how many hours will you put into it?
I come from Croatia and I am thinking that you could try “In the jaws of life” by Dubravka Ugrešić instead of the Ministry of pain, but is just my person preference 😉
Thanks Paula. I’m not sure how many hours it will take me, but I’m planning to get through one book from every country by the end of the year. Thanks for your suggestion – I’ll add it to the list.
Although I love Herta Muller, I am not sure if she is fully representative of Romanian literature – mainly because she writes (and has always written in German). For a good feel for contemporary Romanian style of writing, I would recommend Mircea Cartarescu, poet, novelist and essayist. Unfortunately, he has been translated far more in German and French rather than in English – the only volume of his I have been able to find is ‘Bebop Baby’, poetry translated by Adam J. Sorkin, published in NY.
Thanks very much. Cartarescu sounds interesting. Perhaps I’ll have to put him on my list for 2013 as I’m only reading prose for this project and although I can read French and German (slowly), I’m sticking to English translations. I’ll add his name to the list though so that people can check him out.
Hi there, just followed a link from a comment you left on the Guardian books site. Looks like an interesting project. I thought I’d take a look at your list and see if I could recommend anything.
Laos looked an interesting bet so I did a bit of research and I reckon you should try Mothers Beloved by Outhine Bounyavong. It’s a collection of short stories (are you reading them too, or only novels?) that looks interesting.
To be honest, there’s not much choice when it comes to Laos. Many of the Lao authors I could find were Lao-American and writing in English, which doesn’t really count does it? Looking forward to seeing what you think of it, if you choose to read it..
Thanks very much. I really appreciate you taking the time to do some research on my behalf. I’ll add it to the list.
I agree, for the purposes of this project Laos-American authors writing in English aren’t as interesting as authors writing in Lao, so it’s great to have a translation to consider.
How is the reading going? Telesa : The covenant Keeper by Lani Wendt Young is available for e-download for the next 24 hours if you haven’t already purchased it for ‘the list’ 🙂
Great tip – thanks Ana. I’ll check it out.
The reading is going well. Nearly at the three-month mark and so far I’m on target… The challenge is going to be be tracking down books from some of the harder to reach places in time. But many people, like you, are being very generous with their time and knowledge and every day brings a new contact with someone willing to help, so it’s lots of fun.
You’re welcome 🙂
I just noticed you don’t yet have a book for Mauritius. You could try something by Carl De Souza.
My review’s here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6414623-la-maison-qui-marchait-vers-le-large
But now that I do a search, it seems that none of his stuff has been translated into English. I don’t suppose you read French?
Thanks very much. I do read French, but for the purposes of this project, I am only reading books in English translation. The aim is to see whether it’s possible for one person in London to access all of world literature, so it seemed to make sense to stick to that. Any other Mauritian suggestions would be fab though…
For Bulgarian books: I see you already read _Natural Novel_, I’d recommend _Time of Parting_ (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3788317-time-of-parting), a powerful, philosophical and (word of warning) quite violent novel that captures the clash of opposing worldviews. I wouldn’t read it so much as a historical novel but as a sample of contemporary mythopoeia, very poetic too.
(I wonder, however, how well the translation preserved the often metric prose of the original.)
Great project — keep it up! 🙂
Thanks Kalin – sounds great. I’ll add it to the list (and to my expanding list for after this project. Translation is a real art, isn’t it? World literature lives or dies by the skill of the people who relay it from one language to another.
Thanks for stopping by
You’re welcome. 🙂
I was part of the team that translated _The Last Unicorn_ into Bulgarian; it took a long, long time and it taught us that translation is equal parts art and perseverance. (And, ah, there were more ingredients in the magic potion, but now my memory refuses to reveal them. :D)
To art and perseverance, then!
Here is a link to some Lithuanian books in English
I also strongly recommend books by Jurga Ivanauskaite.
Thanks very much Ieva
Greetings from Ecuador! I am very happy to hear about this amazing initiative. I am sure that if everyone would do this, our knowledge of “the other” would be so different.
I noticed that for Ecuador you still don’t have a book. I recommend “Huasipungo” from Jorge Icaza. It is an amazing story, very contextual to the history of my country.
Another great author is Benjamin Carrion, “Cartas al Ecuador” is one of the greatest books I’ve read.
Thanks Lucia – you’ve made my day. These sound great. I’ll check them out and add them to the list.
All the best from London
Hello, I am an Indian and I’d like to recommend a few books to know the country more. All of these are Men Booker Prize winners —
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
Thanks Rajdeep – they’re great books aren’t they? I really enjoyed them when I read them too.
These books are very famous in the UK as well. However, I’m quite keen to find an Indian book that Indian readers admire but which may not be very well known outside the country. If you can suggest anything, I’d love to hear about it.
check out ” na hanyate, by maitreyi devi ” or “srikanto”. 🙂
Thanks – sounds interesting
Hello from Sweden! I just found this blog and will definitely bee following it in the future. I started a similar project in november last year, but your’e keeping a much better pace than me 🙂
I hope you don’t mind me “borrowing” your book suggestion for Andorra – it sounds much better than the one I had found. I’ve compiled a list of most of the books I’m going to read which might be of some help to you. It’s at:
(Most of the book titles are in english, but the country names are in swedish. You should be able to guess most of them, but to make it a bit easier: Austria: Österrike, East Timor: Östtimor, Lettland: Latvia and many of the ones that start with C in english start with K in swedish) .
And I can’t resist making a suggestion for Sweden, even if you already have a few books for the country: Montecore, by Jonas Hassen Khemiri is a really interesting book about tunisian immigrants in Sweden that has recently been translated to english.
Thanks very much for getting in touch. Feel free to ‘borrow’ The Teacher of Cheops. It’s well worth a read.
I look forward to studying your list. Thanks very much for your Swedish suggestion. It’s going on the list…
I know you’ve ticked Portugal and Italy off your list but I simply have to recommend Pereira Maintains, set in 1930s Lisbon but by Italian novelist Antonio Tabucchi. It’s an all-too-brief political thriller, by one definition, and manages to be morally confronting and charming at the same time. I’m still sad that I’ve finished it.
Other recent favourites include The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht which is really Serbian but could probably be classified as Bosnian or even American. Blends an enganing contemporary story with wonderful fables.
And New Finnish Grammar by Diego Marani – which, despite the intriguing title, is a novel about a sailor who loses his memory. And although it’s mostly set in Finland is written by an Italian.
North Korea… It’s a shame that Escape From Camp 14, the true story of a lad who lived through unimaginable torments in a prison camp and eventually escaped, is written by a US journalist so doesn’t fit your criteria. I’ve not read the book yet but have heard Shin Dong-hyuk tell his story. Astonishing.
Excellent recommendations. Pereira Maintains sounds great. It is already on my list – only sorry I can’t read more than one book for each country. I’ll have to try it next year.
I read the Tiger’s Wife last year for my A Year of Reading Women blog – a very interesting book as you say.
New Finnish Grammar also sounds good – I heard Boyd Tonkin talking about it at the London Book Fair this week – another on for next year I think!
Escape from Camp 14 does sound interesting – have you read Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demmick? I was very interested by my North Korean book, My Life and Faith by Ri In Mo – a memoir by a North Korean patriot. While I couldn’t agree with its fundamental ideology, it was very thought-provoking and told a side of the story we rarely hear.
Thanks very much for stopping by
All the best
Hi just read guardian piece and check list think couple your blanks may have I ve cover 81 countries so far on my blog I specialise in translated fiction and other world lit will add your blog to my reader
Great stuff – will have to check out your list. Thanks very much
CAR: Pierre Makombo Bamboté: Princesse Mandapu (http://www.themodernnovel.com/car/bambote/princesse.htm) (not translated)
Chad: Nimrod: Les jambes d’Alice (not translated)
East Timor: Cardoso, Luís: The Crossing
Guinea-Bissau: Abdulai Sila: A Última Tragédia (not translated into English but translated into French (http://www.themodernnovel.com/guineabissau/sila/tragedia.htm)
Lesotho: Thomas Mofolo: Chaka (http://www.themodernnovel.com/lesotho/mofolo/chaka.htm)
Mauritania: Moussa Ould Ebnou: L’amour impossible (http://www.themodernnovel.com/mauritanian/ebnou/amour.htm) (not translated)
Mauritius: Anand Mulloo: Watch Them Go Down (http://www.themodernnovel.com/mauritian/mulloo/watch.htm)
Moldova:Druta, Ion: Moldavian Autumn
Mongolia: Lodoidamba, Tschadraawalyn: Der durchsichtige Tamir (only available in German)
Namibia: Joseph Diescho: Troubled Waters (http://www.themodernnovel.com/namibian/diescho/troubled.htm)
Niger: Abdoulaye Mamani: Sarraounia (http://www.themodernnovel.com/nigerien/mamani/sarraounia.htm) (not translated)
Panama: Rogelio Sinán: Plenilunio (http://www.themodernnovel.com/panamanian/sinan/plenilunio.htm) (not translated)
Paupa New Guinea: Epeli Hau’ofa: Kisses in the Nederends (http://www.themodernnovel.com/papuan/hauofa/nederends.htm); Russell Soaba: Maiba (http://www.themodernnovel.com/papuan/soaba/maiba.htm); Regis Stella: Gutsini Posa (Rough Seas) (http://www.themodernnovel.com/papuan/stella/rough.htm)
Solomon Islands: John Saunana: The Alternative (http://www.themodernnovel.com/solomon/saunana/alternative.htm)
Swaziland: Mkhonza, Sarah: Weeding the Flowerbeds
Thanks very much – lots to go on here. I do read French and German, but for this project I’ve decided to stick to English as it’s about seeing if it’s possible for someone in the UK to access all of world literature in a year. I will look into your suggestions though – who knows, someone may have an unpublished translation up their sleeves or suggestions of other related books…
I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. All the best.
I would read Murathan Mungan from Turkey!
Thanks very much – I’ve covered Turkey already but I’ll add him to the list so others can check him out…
Wow, great project!
I’m not sure if it’s not too late but a I have some more suggestions…
Germany: WG Sebald, Rings of Saturn – an excellently written collection of essays on topic varying from the life of Joseph Conrad to the tragic fate of Roger Casement (the same whom Mario Vargas Llosa dedicated his latest book The Dream of the Celt), to Holocaust. All inspired by Sebald’s walking tour around Suffolk.
Norway: Lars Saabye Christensen, The Half Brother – winner of the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2002. A very poignant psychological novel, showing the history of post-war Norway through the lives of a few generations in one family.
Sweden: I know you’ve already picked Per Olov Enquist’s The March of the Musicians but I’d recommend The Story of Blanche and Marie. Inspired by real events, it’s a feminist story of the lives of three real women, Marie Curie among them. It’s a book about the development of science in the beginning of the 20th century and the abuse of women for so-called scientific reasons, but also about love and friendship. Apart from being beautifully written, it’s also very informative.
I’m also very happy that for the Polish sections you’ve chosen Olga Tokarczuk and Pawel Huelle. This are really great authors (one of my favourites) and I’m sure you’re going to enjoy their books.
Thanks very much Ela
I’ve already covered some of these countries, but I’ll add your Swedish and Norwegian picks to the list so that other visitors can check them out.
The Sebald sounds very interesting. I’m not doing essays this year – but I’ll have to put them on my list for 2013.
All the best
I had to jump in and second the suggestion of WG Sebald. I have not read his Rings of Saturn, but would highly recommend his novel Austerlitz which is one of the most beautiful and moving novels I have ever read. Sebald, though German, lived and taught at a University in England. He died in a car crash shortly after publishing this novel and has become somewhat of a cult figure. The novel is written in a unique style where photographs of things and places are interspersed throughout the story, blurring the line between fiction and reality. The story is of a young German boy, whose Jewish parents send him to England to escape the Holocaust. He recounts his story to the narrator whom he first meets at the Austerlitz train station in Brussels, years later. The language of the book is so poetic and the tone, very spiritual.
Thanks Jenn – duly noted
Madagascar has little literature in translation (although Claude Simon, Nobel laureate, was born in Madagascar when it was still a French colony). My recommendation is Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo, one of colonial Africa’s first poets. “Translated from the Night” is available in English. For fiction, “Voices from Madagascar” is an anthology with translated stories from more modern Malagasy authors.
Thanks very much – I’ll look into the anthology.
I noticed that you have the Philippines on your travel list but no books listed. Enjoy Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn and the Rosales Saga novels (there are 5) by F. Sionil José. Cheers!
Thanks Genevieve I’ll add them to the list. Thanks very much for stopping by.
Your reading project is impressive — and clearly brings you much joy. As Conrad was fond of writing, “Ah, Youth!”
This is pretty cool! It makes my reading list of classics minuscule. Good luck with this project, and congratulations on the work that you have already completed!
Thanks very much. It’s been a lot of fun so far.
From New Zealand, much debate in the house right now. Maurice Shadbolt’s “Season of the Jew” is a strong contender for historical fiction. Of course you can’t go past the booker-prize winning but extremely polarising “The Bone People” by Keri Hulme, significant if only because it’s the only time we’ve ever won that prize (1984 from memory). Last year’s Mr Pip by Lloyd Jones was the closest we’ve come since, but that’s set in Bougainville. Of course many might say the New Zealand book to read is “Once Were Warriors” by Alan Duff. It was made into a chilling film in the mid-nineties that had a ripple effect on the country that we still feel today. And for all of that the film wasn’t a patch on the book, written in a kind of vernacular. But if you read Once Were Warriors, you would have to read “Tangi”, by Witi Ihimaera (of Whale Rider fame) lest you be left with a completely skewed impression of our indigenous heritage. This compact novel was the first published by a Maori in 1973, and my own first edition copy takes pride of place on my bookshelf. And for all of this, with a little research, you will see there is a clear bias in my recommendations. I will send this link to my MIL who will no doubt suggest some of our great names in classical literature such as Janet Frame, Katherine Mansfield. Good luck and I look forward to more reviews!
Great, thanks Nadine. I’ll look into these and look forward to any further suggestions too. Thanks for stopping by
Nice list! Mine is at http://shoshana-world.livejournal.com/ . We overlap a fair amount, but not entirely.
Great stuff. Good to hear from a fellow literary globetrotter. How long did it take you to get round?
I finished yesterday, so around 4.5 years. I’d read some before I started. Please let me know if I can be helpful with any countries–I’m now going to go back through to find and read better/more representative books for some countries, as well as some significant non-countries like Hong Kong.
Congratulations. I’m finishing this week too. All the best
Should you by any chance be looking for more books from Finland, there is (more accurately was) a writer of historical fiction called Mika Waltari, who was popular enough mid 20th C for a few of his translated works to be kicking around English second hand shops – and to be easly available via Amazon. Although I guess reading a book about Ancient Egypt by a Finn might not be the best way to get to know either culture…
Excellent, thanks. I’ll add it to the list so that other readers can check out. I don’t know, I reckon reading a book on Ancient Egypt by a Finn could be very interesting. My Andorran book was actually on that topic. Thanks very much for your comment
An interesting endeavour. I know of someone that tried to do this for the Beijing Olympics. Her list can be viewed here. As you’ll see, for some of the countries where you have yet to gain a suggestion, she had to make compromises (see: Palau).
Looking at your suggested reads — or those that you went ahead and read — I’m delighted you didn’t bother with Khaled Hosseini (truly rubbish, he is) and went for Atiq Rahimi. Like Hosseini, he may no longer live in Afghanistan but his fiction tells more of the country rather than seek to tug at heartstrings.
Would add that Sofi Oksanen is Finnish (you have her under Estonia) and Tibor Fischer is British (you have him under Hungary). On the subject of Hungary, may I also suggest Metropole by Ferenc Karinthy? I reviewed it a number of years back on my old blog (see here).
Pleased to see you have Augusto Monterroso pencilled in for Guatemala. You’ll zip through his stories in no time; he’s master of brevity.
Wish I’d paid more attention to the blogosphere in recent months, otherwise I wouldn’t just be finding your site now…and would have recommended The Invention Of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares for Argentina before you’d paid it a literary visit. Or Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo, for Mexico, which I see you had listed. Or Doctor Glas by Hjalmar Soderberg (Sweden).
However, the best thing about this is the exposure to so many different cultures that bring to the table so many – at least to our culture – fresh ideas. It’s a shame that publishing remains largely wary about translations, leaving the small presses to find the gems while they hunt unit shifters. (Although it at least fosters a foothold for publishers to get in the game, giving more choice.)
Ultimately, people can really benefit from reading around the world. Writers, I would hope, even more so. Bohumil Hrabil talked of liking William Styron; Yasher Kemal appreciates William Faulkner. Writers beyond their cultures. Yet, so little does it seem reciprocated, leaving us with book shops filled with boring English language fiction that is little more than navel-gazing twaddle…and newspapers swooning over it.
Looking forward to exploring your blog some more…
Thanks Stewart. Always good to hear of more literary globetrotters.
I’ve had a suggestion for Palau which I’m on the trail of at the moment, but I suspect there may have to be some compromises for some of the harder to reach destinations – see my post on South Sudan, which only declared its independence last July.
Thanks for picking me up on the Oksanen – will amend. In terms of the Fischer, I’ve ummed and ahed about this one. He was a recommendation for Hungary and I’m still trying to work out where the line on literature and nationality is – does parentage and heritage count or is citizenship/being born in a place/ having lived there for a substantial period the only qualification for being ‘of’ a country? I’m still not 100 per cent, although in practice all my picks so far have leaned towards the latter.
Someone else recommended the Karinthy recently and I’ve been meaning to add it to the list. Maybe this is a sign that it should be my Hungarian pick…
Will add your other suggestions on too so others can check them out. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
I’d call Under The Frog an English comic novel. The Karinthy is a good alternative. There’s a short collection of Ivan Mandy’s short stories in English , which I recommend highly too. It’s easy to sample one and see if you like them.
Thanks J- I’ll look into those. Yes, Under the Frog has been a controversial one. There seems to be split opinion about whether it can be classed as Hungarian…
An inspiring effort. I would like to send you a book that will add the Para-Olympics to your wonderful list. Please email a postal address to me. Best wishes. Elizabeth
Thank you for the kind offer, but I’m afraid I’ve already chosen my New Zealand book. I’ll be posting on it soon. Best wishes Ann
Saw your interview on CNN Inernational –
Here’s a list on books from India – http://www.thebetterindia.com/3962/10-must-read-books-on-indian-history/
Wish you good luck with your endeavor
Thanks – I will check it out
For some of the popular titles here in India – http://www.penguinbooksindia.com/en. Ruskin Bond is loved by a lot of readers, APJ Abdul Kalam ( our ex- president has few popular titles). Quite a few people like ‘India After Gandhi’ Ramchandra Guha and ‘India Unbound’ – Gurcharan Das. ; Mark Tully’s ‘No Full stops in India’
Thanks – I’ll add these to the list. India is going to be such a difficult choice.
What a simply superb project, I am so excited to read the suggestions and the comments are such a value addition. I am going to spend my entire spare money on what I havent read so far, from your list, i guess.
I am from India, and I note that both the suggestions in comments and your list for India reads are those written originally in English. I have to say these are just second best to what regional literature we have here in over 23 official languages and a couple of hundreds of other languages spoken across the country. I suggest reading English translations of any book by M T Vasudevan Nair who writes in Malayalam, and by Asha Poorna Devi who writes in Bengali, these being my favourites. Penguin India has published both these writers in translation if I remember right. Or check with the publications of the Central Sahitya Akademi, the government wing that gives the annual writing awards. They publish all award winners in translation to English. So you have a choice for an entire new year of reading. 🙂
Other than this, I was surprised to find that the Algerian writer Yasmina Khadra was not on your list. I liked his ‘The Attack’. Actually it isnt a she its a he that writes under the name Yasmina.
And although there is no official Palestine writing Susan Abulhawa’s Mornings in Jenin is a must read if you want to see a Palestinian perspective and a counter narrative to the Jewish stories.
I am also reading West Asian fiction intensively this year, but I don’t want to burden you anymore with names.
Good effort, I will be watching this space.
Thank you very much for this Suneetha. I’ve been hoping for some recommendations for Indian literature written in languages other than English so it’s great to have these suggestions. I shall add them to the list. India is without question going to be one of my most difficult choices. It has such a rich and varied literary tradition that I could easily spend a decade just reading Indian books.
I shall add your suggestions to the list. Thanks very much for taking the time to comment
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I see you already have a long list of titles for India, but I’d like to suggest one more – Khushwant Singh.
He is one of the very best-known writers in English within India, but he is virtually unknown without.
This is rather sad, given that he has such enormous talent, but I suspect there are a number of reasons for it: he’s genuinely of India (rather a lot of the “Indian” writers beloved of the international literati seem to live in London or New York), but at the same time he doesn’t play on the flower exoticism and baroque stylistic meanderings we seem to demand of our Indian authors. He’s as likely to write about whisky-drinking and pinching ladies’ bottoms…
He’s been spectacularly prolific, and has led a very varied life – as a journalist, politician, historian, author, brilliantly vitriolic newspaper columnist – and is still just about going now in his late 90s. And he’s a bearded and turbaned Sikh to boot…
His style is crisp and pared back, almost Hemingway-esque without the machismo. He has a wry naughtiness on par with Roald Dahl, and his short stories are perfectly formed little nuggets – either wickedly funny, or with gut-punch impact.
The Portrait of a Lady: The Collected Short Stories, would be a good choice, but better still would be his magnificent little novel Train to Pakistan, the single greatest literary response to the partition of India, angry and erudite but with a very simple presentation. I read it in one sitting first time around, and the final page had me physically trembling…
Thanks Tim. Khushwant Singh sounds great. Sadly I have just read my Indian choice – I’ll be posting on it next – but I’ll add Singh to the list. Who knows, I may even mention your comment in my post!
Hi, I must say I really admire your project, I love reading and a few years ago I was wondering how many books from different countries I’ve read, I think it was about 20 or so. Anyway, this inspired me to maybe try and keep a list like that. I want to visit every country in the world so figures I could try and read a book from every country first :D.
Anyway, as I’m from Slovakia I thought I might give some recommendations. My favourite book is “Ako Chutí Moc” by Ladislav Mňačko, or “Taste of Power” it’s definitely been translated and published but it seems to be incredibly difficult getting a copy of the translation… I see you’ve also been recommended the Rivers of Babylon, which would be my second choice. This book is very raw and gritty with almost no nice characters but it’s speaks truth about what slovakia was like in the 90s and problems which still persist into this day. I don’t really know about any other translated works, which is a shame especially considering that czech and polish literature is doing quite well in translation. Speaking of polish literature you need to read Mrozek’s “The Elephant” which is absolutely amazing, political yet absurd and hilarious.
Anyway good luck with your reading endeavours 🙂
Woohoo! You have just made my day. Thanks very much – I’ve been looking for more suggestions of Slovakian authors for ages. I’ll add these to the list.
For some reason, there seem to be loads of Czech authors whose works have been translated but very few Slovakians – do you have any idea why this might be?
It’s really an interesting topic, I must admit I never really thought about it in detail, it always seems kind of like a given that czechs are more popular, we’re like the scots or welsh in the UK, largely ignored by the majority. If I may allow for a speculation, I think it all stems from the times of the commie czechoslovakia, western media were very interested in developments in our countries and published a lot of work by mainly dissident writers, however they wouldn’t really differentiate between the nations, calling everyone czech to make it easier (even though there was slovak state before czechoslovakia, although everyone kind of wants to forget about that because it was basically nazi). So the czechs made an impact with writers like Kundera who became immensely popular in the western world (not so much in czech republic as he was a commie when young and Kundera is trying to hide it). So the czechs made an impact and were relatively popular, however few years after the velvet revolution the western media stopped caring about these countries, and the publicity stopped. The czechs were already known and in demand, they were bohemian after all, and were better at selling themselves. After the split slovakia wasn’t doing so great so it took us ages to get back on our feet, but still a lot of people have no idea that Slovakia exists so no wonder no one knows about our literature. The slovak government doesn’t care about culture, the writers are busy living on meagre wages and translators are busy translating american and english mainstream literature into slovak. Also no universities are interested in teaching about slovakia, from internet search it seems like the only place in the english speaking world you’d learn about slovak literature is at the university of pittsburgh. Also in glasgow, where I study (english lit and russian) you can learn czech or estonian but tough luck if you’ve got interest in slovakia. I did the Slavonic studies module which was great fun although they talked about Czechoslovakia there was rarely ever mention about any slovaks, even though the module included hungary who are anything but slavs. Anyway, it’s difficult to get access to slovak literature which is a shame because there are some good works there…
sorry for the long post, got really into it 😀
Great stuff – very interesting to have your thoughts on it. Thanks!
I can’t believe it. No one has recommended Carlos Ruis Zafon’s Name of the Wind? (for Spain)
Oops, I meant The Shadow of the Wind. Sorry.
Thanks tmso. Well now they have! I’ll add it to the list…
Great blog, best idea.
It’ll probably take me longer than a year to read all of these but I’m borrowing your list to make it my “to read” list. 🙂
Great – that’s wonderful. Let me know how you get on.
This is fantastic!!!
May I recommend Moon on a Rainbow Shawl by Errol John for the Trinidad and Tobago section? It is a great book and it was recently on at the National Theatre.
Keep up the good work :-).
Thanks very much Michelle. Sounds great. I have just read my T&T book – post coming soon – but I’ll definitely add this to the list so others can check it out. I’ll look forward to reading it when I’ve read the rest of the world.
Great to hear from you.
Hi! I love your blog!
For the Philippines, you must read Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco. It won the Man Asian Literary Prize (the Asian Booker) before publication and was a NYTimes notable book in 2010. A wonderful (funny) exploration of the country, it\’s history, politics and people.
Thanks, I’ll look out for it
Cool, it’s really worth the read. Thanks for a great site. Really enjoying myself, definitely adding to my to-read pile. 🙂
Brilliant stuff – just the encouragement I need as I get in from an evening out and sit down to being the next post…
This site will be very useful to you, because we are doing something similar. Good luck and enjoy your reading!
Marvellous – thanks. I’ll check it out. Great to hear from fellow literary globetrotters
Hello, this is an amazing project!!! I wish you good luck in completing it!!!!
Thanks – I’ll need it!
I am also amazed and honored that you have included my country’s authors in your list!!! I am a proud Moldovan !!!
By the way, am I right in thinking you’re based in Moldova? I’m still looking for a book from there. Do you have any recommendations of novels, short story collections or memoirs I might be able to read in English translation?
Yes, I am a Moldovan 🙂 I looked up the book that you listed – Moldavian Autumn, by my favorite author – Ion Drutsa! He has so many stories that I absolutely love but unfortunately, there are translations in many languages but western countries’s languages, English included (due to the political views) I couldn’t find exactly what stories this book contains but if it has Frunze de dor (it is un-translatable, it would mean: Leaves of missing somebody) and The last month of Autumn then I am sure that you will like it!!! Also, I have managed to find a translation in English of a short story – Samariteanca, here is the link to it:
Great – thank you. I will try to get hold of a copy of Moldavian Autumn. If you think of any other authors, I’d love to hear about them. It would also be great to know which Moldovan authors who haven’t been translated you think we English-language speakers should know about.
there are not many translations in English, I will probably be one the first authors translated in English 🙂 🙂 🙂
I love the idea behind this blog, and can’t wait to back read your recommendations. Can’t wait to see future posts!
Thanks Haley. Good to have you along for the adventure.
This is SUCH a cool idea!!!!!! I can’t wait to read through all your recommendations. I love learning about other cultures, and I think one of the best ways to immerse yourself is to read their literature.
Thanks. It’s amazing how much there is to discover!
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Hi, I’ve just nominated you for a very inspiring blogger award http://re3ecca.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/very-inspiring-blogger-award-3-week-blogiversary/ happy blogging 🙂 x
This is a brilliant idea. I wish I had come across this blog earlier. I think I might take this reading list and make it my own!
Feel free. Thanks very much for stopping by!
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Hi! Very nice, inspiring list. I am from Hungary, so I looked at your Hungarian choices with special curiosity, it was interesting to see, what would someone from an other country choose to read. I have to say, you made some very nice picks there! Also, if I can recommend you something, probably, at some point in your life, you might want to read the 2002 Nobel prize winning book of Hungarian Imre Kertész: Fateless. It is a very powerful book.
Sorry, misspelled it: Fatelessness. I tend to misspell things when I get excited about something 🙂
Don’t worry – me too!
Great, thanks Poppy. I’ll add your suggestion to the list when I next update it.
Hi! Love your blog. If you need some inspiration for Dutch books, I have a new blog focussing on Dutch Literature: littledutchbook.wordpress.com.
Sounds great. Thanks – what would your top recommendation be?
I would definitely put Discovery of Heaven by Harry Mulish on your list. I haven’t read Little Caesar yet, by Tommy Wieringa, but it got some good reviews. And if you can find it Out of Mind by Bernlef, very powerful book! Happy reading!
Also, I just reposted a great review on Julia by Otto de Kat. Could be a good read!
Thanks very much for these. I’ll add them to the list when I next update it. Sadly only time for one book per country this year and I’ve already been through the Netherlands, but it’ll be great to list them for other readers and hey, there’s always next year!
I am thrilled to find your blog! I’ve been doing a similar challenge (without a “one year” time frame) and started compiling the books I read on one of my blog’s pages (http://readingtoday.wordpress.com/bookshelf-around-the-world-in-80-books/). It looks like you’ve made much more progress, and I’m so excited to check out your list and recommendations!
Thanks very much – reckon I might borrow your Sierra Leonean pick – I’ve been looking for an alternative to Aminatta Forna for ages.
And best of luck with your literary adventures too!
Wow, what a great and ambitious reading list! I was happy to find some books under Oman, where I am living now as an expat. I will have to get my hands on those books. For Greece, you might want to add Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. It’s amazing. Are you only reading novels, because the true story Eleni (Greece) is amazing as well. About South Korea: One Thousand Chestnut Trees by Mira Stout and The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee are both fabulous.
I look forward to following your quest. I too love reading books that are set in other countries, written either by native writers or expats who have traveled or lived in those countries. But my list is determined by my travel dreams. I read based on where I’m taking my next trip. 🙂
Thanks for the inspiration!
Good to hear from you. Yes, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is a great book, isn’t it? As it’s by a British writer, I can’t include it for Greece (I’m trying to stick to books by native writers or people who have lived in the country for a long time). I’ll check out your other suggestions and add them to the list if I can when I next update it.
Wow, Oman must be a fascinating place to live. By the way, the Omani book I read, My Grandmother’s Tales, is available free of charge – you just have to contact the association in the States that publishes it (see my post on Oman).
Thanks for stopping by.
Oh dear, I realized after I sent the comment that you were probably only including native writers. Eleni by Nicholas Gage is by a Greek writer (although he Americanized his name after he left Greece). He actually was born and lived in Greece until he was 9 or 10, at which time his mother sent him away to America to his father. Because the Communists in Greece were taking children from their parents to indoctrinate them in Soviet bloc countries, she defied them and snuck Nicholas away. For that she was killed and this is the story of her life. So I would consider him a native writer.
Oman is a fascinating place to live, but it’s not home, and so I will be leaving before long. But it definitely has been an experience!
I’m excited to follow your posts as you read these books!
Thanks- sounds great! I’ll look it up
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What an amazing, amazing project. So excited!!
Thanks Zoe – glad you like it
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I have begun a similar project. I am restricting myself to short stories. You have done a lot of great research.
Thanks – good luck with your project
Wow, you’re nearly there! Congratulations, you’re a hero!
Perhaps in your literary travels you heard about some fantastic books which haven’t been translated but should be. If you have any suggestions I might have a go at translating one or two (I can only handle some Western European languages). Also, could we have a shortlist of your favourite discoveries from the project?
Thanks for sharing your adventures with the great reviews!
Thanks Bradley. Yes, there are plenty of things that should be translated out there. Portuguese- and French-speaking African countries are particularly badly served when it comes to translation. If you have a look at my post on Mozambique (https://ayearofreadingtheworld.com/2012/03/22/mozambique-uncharted-territory/), you’ll see a list of writers that one Portuguese language reader admires, in addition to the novel which started the whole thing off, ‘Niketche’ by Paulina Chiziane and still is not available in English…
It’s also worth looking into works by some of the writers in the Madagascar anthology I read (to date, there is not a single novel by a Malagasy writer available in English although there are plenty of novels published).
I’ll have a think about the shortlist – it’s tricky as many of the highlights are not commercially available. Keep an eye out for the final post on New Year’s Eve….
All the best for 2013
Great project, Ann! Lovely to meet another Cantabrigian in the blogosphere (I went to Newnham). I have not read many foreign titles though “The Tale of Kieu”, an epic Vietnamese national poem, impressed me when I read it several years ago. It reads more like a story than a poem, and is a reasonably short book although deeply moving. See some information here: http://www.deanza.edu/faculty/swensson/kieu.html
Warm regards from simple cherishes.
Thanks – nice to meet you too. The poem sounds interesting. I’ve only really read prose works this year, although I was thinking of including narrative poems if I couldn’t find any prose works. All the best for 2013
A magnificent project, Ann. I also was going to suggest The Tale of Kieu which I found indispensable is grasping Vietnam’s national character so to speak. It’s like Italy’s The Betrothed, England’s Beowulf and America’s…well, Moby Dick or anything by Walt Whitman.
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Canada – Hugh MacLennan’s The Watch That Ends the Night is excellent.
China – Anchee Min’s Red Azalea (memoir) or any other work is amazing. I’ve read all but one of her novels because I couldn’t find it but just picked it up at The Strand a few months ago in NYC and it’s sitting on my end table waiting to be read. Great author.
Zimbabwe – Yvonne Vera’s Butterfly Burning
Afghanistan – The Bookseller of Kabul – written by a Norwegian journalist (Asne Seierstad) though, so not sure where or if it would fit in. I picked up a copy at a used bookstore when I studied abroad in France in ’06.
France – I’m sure you have many great suggestions but if not, I took 4 semesters of French lit in college and could probably suggest a handful of my favorites.
Brazil – Paulo Coelho is my favorite author and The Zahir is one of my favorite works… Although I think I saw that you won’t choose a book from an author whose work you’ve already read and I’d bet at a minimum, that you’ve read The Alchemist.
Rwanda – Gaile Parkin’s Baking Cakes in Kigali
Guatemala – I, Rigoberta Menchu by Rigoberta Menchu and edited by Elisabeth Burgos-Debray. In your initial post, I read your musing on the definition of country and it reminds me of that in some ways. Rigoberta is a member of an indigenous group and the book recounts the plight of her people.
I’ll stop there. I moved recently and don’t have my books here yet – or I’d go through my entire collection. I’m maybe a little bit too enthusiastic, so it’s probably for the best. I know I’ve read works by Palestinian, Israeli, Nepalese, Sudanese, Senegalese, Mexican, and Indian writers and probably many more if you find yourself in need of ideas (although I’m not sure these are even necessary – but most are must reads!)
By a stroke of luck, I just happened to stumble across a blog that mentioned yours and I was so excited by the concept, I had to stop by! I think I’ll try a less ambitious route and make a list of what I have read by country… and then fill in the gaps over a lifetime. 🙂
Best of luck reading!
Thanks Sarah. So glad you stopped by. The project finishes today with the post on the final 197th book of the year, however, I’ll go through your suggestions and add what I can to the list when I next update it so other readers can check them out. All the best for the New Year.
I heard about your project on CNNi today where you mentioned this quote:
“You would think differently if this land were your land and these people were your people.”
I didn’t catch who the quote was from but found it a very interesting idea. If you can let me know who this is attributed to I’d appreciate it.
Thanks Charlie, it’s from ‘The Corsair’ by Abdul Aziz Al Mahmoud, a Qatari novel that came out in December 2012. It’s one of the first Qatari novels ever published in English
Brilliant. It doesn’t look like it is available in the U.S. yet but it’s on my list. Thank you!
Good project Ann! I am from morocco.I saw what you have read about moroccan literature.”for bread alone” is a good choice;some people would argue about the translation though.I was wondering if you are limited to few books from each country,because there is some good books that we may call them bit more like “the underground literature” of morocco.they are really worth to be add to the list.I can bring you some names if you are interested.
Thanks – I only had time to read one book for each country, but I am adding as many as I can to the list. Feel free to email your suggestions to ann[at]annmorgan.me Thanks for stopping by
You welcome!Alright,I will definitely send you my suggestions.just out of curiosity,is there any projects for you in the coming future?
Thanks – yes. This is the next one http://ifwomenruled.com/
I sent you an email of their titles.Did you receive it?
Yes – and I have just replied. Thanks!
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Great list. From Uganda, I strongly recommend Tropical Fish: Stories Out Of Entebbe by Doreen Baingana. It’s a great book of short stories and offers a more contemporary view of Uganda.
Brilliant – thanks. Sounds intriguing!
For Thailand, I would recommend “A Child of the Northeast” by Kampoon Boontawee. It’s about life in the Northeast region of Thailand 80 years ago. Simple but wonderful.
Thanks! Sounds great.
Hi there, I really like the idea of this blog and project. Well done for completing it. How did you find `I am a cat` by Natsume Sõseki? It`s one of my favourite japanese novels and I`m happy to see you read it. I`ve also read a short story each by two of the other writers you mention – Hiromi Kawakami (not the same one as the one you mention if that`s a short story) and Yoko Tawada. Great stuff. I recommend though for the future the author Yasunari Kawabata – Snow Country in particular which is the only one so far I`ve read from him (but I plan to read more). Again, well done!!
Oops apologies, I just read the bit at the start where you say the list are just recommendations. Doh!! But in any case, which of the Japanese books did you choose in the end?
Thanks – I chose Manazuru (if you click on the country names it takes you to the review for each country). Thanks for stopping by!
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Suggestion for the Virgin Islands: “Under Caribbean Skies” and “Moonlight Over Caribbean Skies” by Aisha Banks. Great fast fun reads. Make you feel like you’re in the islands without leaving your home. ENJOY!
Thanks – sounds like these would have been good contenders for the Rest of the World list…
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This is brilliant!
Thank you! You’ve inspired me! When I was in my early teens, I had made it my goal to read every single Nobel Prize-winning author up through 1978 or so, and I DID! I felt very proud of myself.
Your project reminds me a little of that year in my teenagehood. Now, you’ve inspired me to want to do what you’re doing!
Great stuff – thanks very much. The Nobel Prize project sounds fascinating. Thanks for stopping by
Its not just a project, it sounds like a research 🙂 simply inspiring… And for people, passionate for reading literature from around the world, but are unable to steal time from their busy schedule, its a dream..
Well being from India (you already have a an endless list though), I would suggest my favorite- The White Tiger by Arvind Adiga, u see, there is something the world should know about the other sides of the country too :)…
And i din’t found Kahlil Gibran, A Lebanese writer, whose famous is The Prophet…
I just loved the idea of reading under such a motto, it will make life worth..
Thanks very much. Yes, The White Tiger has been very popular here in the UK. I don’t know of Gibran, though. Sounds intriguing…
Yes it is…Gibran, for me is peace…
I recommend u, when you want something to let you out of all the worldly mess, just go through Gibran..
Best of luck..
Hello from Finland. I was curious to see which book represents Finland. There where good ones but I noticed Sofi Oksanen’s Purge was situated in the Estonian group of books. Originally this book was written in Finnish by Finnish author Sofi Oksanen in Finland. Anyway, congratulations for your magnificent tour around the world with books!
Thanks very much for your comment – I’ll check this out and correct it. Maybe it’s her Estonian mother that ended up with Oksanen being filed under the wrong country!
Thanks! This was quick! Yes, the story tells about Estoania and Sofi’s mother is Estonian.
Good evening from Finland 🙂 of those listed in Finnish books I’d definitely recommend Paasilinna, as the book tells a lot about the Finnish way of thinking and acting. Sinuhe is a wonderful story but set in Egypt, could have been written by any nationality.
Thanks, yes, I read the Paasilinna. It was great.
I suggest the following books from India. The first Zero Degree is a translation fron Tamil. The Author Charu is a critically acclaimed writer.http://www.amazon.co.uk/Zero-Degree-Charu-Nivedita/dp/8190605615 I can send a copy of the book if you would like one. You would love this book written in a non linear, more like a jottings of a schizophrenic mind
Also Alchemy of desire by Tarun is a good one. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alchemy-Desire-Tarun-Tejpal/dp/0330435558/. Even VS Naipaul loved this one.
I can be reached on kannan.pmp at gmail.com
Good luck with your project
Also Zero Degree is listed under 50 best indian books.
Thanks, it sounds fascinating. The project has finished now, but I might well read it for my own interest. Thanks for stopping by.
Pablo Palacio es may be the best Ecuadorian writer. Also you can include Alfredo Pareja Diezcanseco, Jorge Enrique Adoum, Alicia Yánez Cossío, Gabriela Aleman…
Interesting, thanks – I’m guessing most of these aren’t available in English translation…
Hello from Spain. Lovely and hard books the spanish novels chosen in the list. Brilliant idea. Just read the story in the bbc site. I would like to add a very good title: Sefarad, from Antonio Munoz Molina. All the best.
Thanks – it sounds great. I haven’t updated the list in a while as the project’s finished now, but perhaps I’ll have to go through and add these extra recommendations on when I have time. Thanks for the comment.
Congrats Ann, the project is amazing! Very inspiring! Looking forward to reading your book! 😉
Thanks Ana – me too!
How on earth did you read all those books in one year.
I’ll be lucky if i get through that many books in my life time.
Ha! I think it was just about being organised (and more than a bit obsessive). I worked out how many pages I had to read each day and stuck to it.
Hi, For the obsure books that you had either had translated or had one of kind mailed to you. Is it possible for you to host them somewhere so that the rest of us could read? I am planning on using your list as a guide and read all the books you listed, just not sure I will be able to get hold of some of them.
Hi – it’s a nice idea, but it wouldn’t be very fair to the poor authors whose copyright I’d be infringing. Hopefully this project will encourage publishers to make them (and other books like them) more accessible to other readers.Thanks for your comment.
Hi, i am from Sri Lanka, and i just got to know about of your wonderful effort of ‘Reading the World’. Good luck and what a nice way to discover the world. As a teacher i would suggest my students too to get hold of books(good reads) from different countries and read. with the advancement of technology the concept of READING a real(printed on paper) book is now fading away, but on the other hand children have more opportunities to access the world more than what we got in our younger days.
If you can consider at least one book by Martin Wickramasinghe, a great author from Sri Lanka who’s writings based on typical Sri Lankan values. I would suggest the English Translations of ‘Viragaya'(Devoid of Passions) and/or the trilogy, ‘Gamperaliya'(The Uprooted), ‘Kaliyugaya'(Age of Destruction) and ‘Yuganthaya'(End of the Era).
Thanks very much. These sound intriguing. All the best to you and your students
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From Pakistan, to help narrow down the search, I highly recommend Daniyal Mueenuddin In Other Rooms – Other Wonders & Kamila Shamsie – Kartography and Burnt Shadows (you don’t have it on the list, it’s her best). Bapsi Sidhwa is amazing however I would also recommend American Brat or the Pakistani Bride by her. 🙂 Happy reading. Can’t wait to see your final list.
Thanks for these suggestions – my final list is on the site. You can click the country names to see what I read for each nation.
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Hello. Nice project. Now, when this is over, I recommend to you a Romanian writer – Dan Lungu. He’s been translated in French and German; unfortunately, not in English. One of his books that I enjoyed most is his first published novel – “Hens’ Heaven” (the French edition is “Le paradis des poules. Faux roman de rumeurs et de mysteres”, Editions Jaqueline Chambon, 2005). It’s a novel about the small world of a street at the outskirts of a Romanian city, where people live only to be in the center of attention, and that makes them do whatever it takes to get the attention they crave. It’s immensely hilarious and benefits from the author’s sociological expertise.
Thanks – it sounds great. I hope it gets translated into English soon!
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What a great idea!
P.S. I really recommend Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder for Haiti
Thanks very much!
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Great idea! I would suggest In the Skin of the Lion by Michael Ondaatje. My favourite Canadian novel…
Thanks, yes, I’m an Ondaatje fan too
Aruba is now a seperate country, i will think about a book
Thanks – the project’s finished now, but do feel free to post your ideas if you think of something.
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Looking at the Bulgarian part of the list I think there are better choices. I would like to recommend you “The peach Thief” by Emilian Stanev (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Peach-Thief-Other-Bulgarian-Stories/dp/030493271X).
And the movie: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=the+peach+thief&oq=the+peach+thief&gs_l=youtube.1.0.0l3.30890.38646.0.413126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1776.0j11j1.12.0…0.0…1ac.1.11.youtube.7kZjMP4ZcJk
The novelette is one of the best not only in the Bulgarian but the world literature as well.
Thanks – it sounds intriguing.
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Italy: Marani’s New Finnish Grammar is wonderful, but I could also recommend the books written by Alessandro Baricco, for example the Ocean Sea or the Mr Gwyn.
Good luck! 🙂
Great – thanks!
you should add Pramoedya Ananta Toer to Indonesia list. he’s a must. Great list by the way!!!
Thanks – he sounds fascinating.
I love your project!
If you haven’t finished yet, actually, finished or not, I would definitely recommend you to read something from the croatian writer Marija Jurić Zagorka, her most popular work would be ”The Witch of Grič”, but it is a cycle of seven novels, so it is probably too long for a project like this, but my personal favourites are ”Daugther of the Lotrščak” and ”A stone on the road”.
Also, to read bosnian literature and miss Meša Selimović is imaginable for me, I really recommend two of his works, ”Death and the Dervish” and ”The Fortress”.
All the best. Enjoy!
Thanks – they sound great. I’ll have to add them to my post-world list.
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A great selection (not only because it includes me ;-). Congratulations. Will take the advice for the lesser-known literatures & check quite a few of the listed authors!
Thanks very much stopping by – I’m glad you approve!
I don’t know if there’s English translations of the following short stories of Jorge Luis Borges (he didn’t like writing novels). I read them from time to time, and it’s always like travelling in time and faraway lands. Think you might like them.
-Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius (from “Ficciones”, 1944);
-El Inmortal (from, “El Aleph”, 1949);
-Inferno, I, 32 (from “El Hacedor”, 1960).
Thanks – Borges is very much on my to-read list.
I’d recommend anything written by Nguyen Nhat Anh for Vietnam.
Thanks – duly noted.
Puerto Rico- La carreta-English: The Oxcart) is a 1953 play by Puerto Rican playwright René Marqués. The story follows a family of “jíbaros” or rural peasants that in an effort to find better opportunities end up moving to the United States
By: Rene Marquez
Sounds interesting, thanks. I wasn’t including plays for this project, but this one certainly makes me curious.
I recently read This Blinding Absence of Light and I highly recommand it to you ! In my opinion, it Tahar Ben Jelloun’s best novel (Morocco).
Thanks – I must give it a try.
I hope you’ll like it as much as I did !
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The book “Like Eating A Stone” by Wojciech Tochman is indeed about Bosnia and Herzegovina. But actually this book is one of the greatest exemplification of good POLISH non-fiction literature and Wojciech Tochman is POLISH jurnalist.
Thanks very much – I’ll look into this.
Thank you so much for posting and sharing your list. This is truly awesome. I am strongly considering doing this next year. Kudos to you!
Brilliant. Thanks Kristina. I hope you enjoy the journey – it’s certainly a big adventure!
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Wow, wow. What a fantastic list and a phenomenal accomplishment! 🙂
Thanks very much!
A lot of mexican books : )
May I add to your South African list, as it is almost criminally lacking 🙂
Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
The Power of One by Bryce Countenay
Fiela’s Child and Circles in the Forest by Dalene Mathee
Poetry and Plays by Athol Fugard, Breyten Breytenbach, Ingrid Jonker, John Kani and Antjie Krog
The first two are certainly compulsory. The Mathee novels will make you fall in love with the landscape of my birth – I still cry through most of her descriptions of the coastal forest – and the playwrights and poets give deep insight into the political times.
Thanks – they sound interesting. I will have to find time to update the list again soon.
Hi! I just started my own book review blog and the twist is that I want to feature small local book shops as well as have folks send me books they would like for me to review. Any suggestions for a new book blogger?
BTW, amazing blog!
Thanks – write about what you’re interested in and try to make it as good as you can. Good luck!
You are doing a great job!
For Saudi books I do not recommend girls of Riyadh novel
since it is written by a very beginner author.
You might want to read something for Dr.Ghazi Al-Gusaibi.
Good luck 🙂
Thank u so much. I found out something I didn’t know about.
From Portugal, I suggest Fernando Pessoa. “The keeper of sheep”, by his heteronym Alberto Caeiro, is one of my favorite books. I’m not sure if it was published in English under this title, but I found the reference of “The Collected Poems of Alberto Caeiro” [Chris Daniels, transl, Exeter, UK: Shearsman Books, 2007] which certainly contains this text.
From Mozambique, I would suggest “O Fio das Miçangas”, by Mia Couto, but I see Mia is already on your list and I couldn’t found any translation of it.
From Brazil, there’s “Dom Casmurro”, by Machado de Assis [Trad. Helen Caldwell. London: W.H. Allen.]. Assis founded the Brazilian Academy of Letters and this book, I guess, is the better known/read/discussed book around here. The plot is brilliant and puts us on doubt about what really happened and what is only Dom Casmurro’s imagination, as he’s the story teller- so the discussion will never end.
Also, the letter Pero Vaz de Caminha sent to Portugal about the “discovery” of Brazil is very interesting. I couldn’t found the publisher’s reference, but I’m sure it was translated to English ’cause I found some .pdf versions of it on Google.
I loved your project! It made me realize, once again, how powerful literature is, and how powerful each one of us human beings are just by the fact we can communicate – talking, drawing, writing or reading books. Thank you!
Thanks very much. Your recommendations sound great.
WOW! I am already a fan! Can’t wait to go into your list! Tks for sharing!
Thanks – hope you enjoy the books.
have you read any of my books? listed at http://www.saadhu.com, and available on Kindle?
No – thanks for the heads up.
Thank you…for the idea it’s a great opportunity for you and for us to learn about books of all over the globe…:)
Thanks Aziz. I’m glad you like it.
This blog is a information storehouse for readers. For India you can also add tagore works. I have read a few of them. Here is my blog on one http://sanchitasarkar.wordpress.com/2013/09/22/gora-book-review/
Thanks. Yes – I love Tagore. In fact we had a song written from one of his poems at our wedding.
according to your experience, the list of “100 books that must be read before death” can be replaced by ” 196 books that must be read during one year”.
Ha! Thanks. Actually, I’ve ended up with enough recommendations to keep me busy for a whole decade at least!
For Tanzania I could recommend a novel published by a foreigner who lived there for many years and got involved in top level football – and got a privileged look into the society and the culture in the process. “More than a Game” by Ronny Mintjens …
Thanks – sounds intriguing.
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Much greetings from Lebanon, birth land of cultures, religions and languages.
I must congratulate you on your project, it’s very inspiring! I hope you enjoy the Lebanese literature in personal (combination of French, Arabic, and English), the Arabic literature in specific, and global literature in general!
Most Lebanese would recommend Jubran Khalil Jubran (or Gibran), Amin Maalouf, and other old famous excellent writers. But I would add to that the new Lebanese youth who are writing now in English and French in addition to Arabic, in fiction and non-fiction of all categories.
There are many great publishing houses here. But I personally recommend the publishing of Dar al-Saqi which you can find in the UK.
Also, other amazing publishing houses are Hachette-Antoine and Nawfal.
GOOD LUCK! (^_^)’
Many thanks. I’m certainly looking forward to reading more Lebanese books!
This is easily the most ambitious reading project I’ve seen in years. I think it’s absolutely brilliant. Thank you for sharing your list with us!
Gosh. Thanks very much.
Tonga – you have to read Epeli Hau’ofa – Tales of the Tikongs.
Great idea, by the way!
Thanks – sounds intriguing!
Wow – this is an impressive list. I balled my eyes out with The Kite Runner & A Thousand Splendid Suns. Need to read more I think! Thanks for the inspirtaion 🙂
You’re welcome. Thanks for stopping by.
I’m surprised you don’t have “Cry, the Beloved Country” or “Long Walk to Freedom” under South Africa.
Thanks. Long Walk to Freedom isn’t there because I was deliberately excluding books I’d already read to avoid the temptation to cheat, although I should probably update it now!
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Great!! Thank you for this post!!!
Thanks for the comment!
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India ,you have left books by Late Sunil Gangopadhyay “Those Days”
There’s a new Lithuanian book that’s been published in Kindle format, might be interesting.
Interesting – thanks for the tip off!
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Why so much..??
Do you remember everything from all that you read..?? Story..?? Style..?? (say anything from ‘The Train to Pakistan’, by Khushwant Singh.. how much of it can you recall..??)
Did some work inspire you to explore more of certain writers..?? What did you do then..??
That’s a lot of questions! I only chose one book from each country, but it was still a lot of books! It was a great adventure – and yes, I can remember a lot of them. I think writing about them on the blog helped. Thanks for your comment.
Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been majorly inspired by you – although so far I’ve read books from only 23 countries and have a far way to go.
Thanks – happy bookpacking!
Of the Norwegian authors, I must admit I don’t like any of them but for Lars Saabye Christensen (I’m an avid reader and a librarian). If I were to suggest books from Norway, they would be:
The Naked Madonna by Jan Wiese
Before You Sleep by Linn Ullmann
Lasso Round the Moon by Agnar Mykle
Egalia’s Daughters by Gerd Brantenberg
Books I wish I could have suggested, but that are not translated (yet?) are:
The Man Who Loved Yngve by Tore Renberg
A fool free by Beate Grimsrud
Wow – thanks. What a selection. I read Egalia’s Daughter’s this year for my new project If Women Ruled and thought it was fabulous. I’ll have to check out some of your other suggestions…
Just echoing what everyone else has said here – this is such a great idea – for a blog/for choosing books/for learning something a little different about the world. I will definitely check out your reviews and return to this page next time I’m looking for something new to read. Good luck with your book!
Thanks very much. I hope you enjoy the list.
Well, I couldn’t read all the replies about your list, so I don’t know if this autor was already suggested:
try, whenever you can, reading João Guimarães Rosa, from Brazil. I don’t think you will find translations to english so easily, since Guimarães Rosa created many words that don’t have translation. This words, his vocabulary, are one of the best things about his stories. And that’s what it makes them so special.
Finally, I loved your idea of ‘reading the world’. I wish I could have the time and energy to read so many books at such a small period of time.
Still, I will try to read some of your list.
Thanks – sounds intriguing!
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Very interesting project.
I am from India, and there is nothing much to suggest from my side, as you have already covered most of them 🙂
I could see works from even my mother tongue “Malayalam” in your list by “MT Vasudevan Nair” and “OV Vijayan”.
Great effort and I really appreciate it.
I’ll be following you.
All the best.
Thanks very much Sreejith. I’m glad you like the suggestions. India was definitely my toughest choice!
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Hey! Just wanted to tell you that your blog has inspired me to do something similar! It’s a great way to learn about other cultures and visit places that I don’t (yet) know 😉
This is my blog – http://voltaaomundocomlivros.wordpress.com/.
For now it’s only available in portuguese but I’ve been thinking about translating to english too!
Thanks for the inspiration!
Great stuff Marian. I’m really glad. Best pf luck with it and let me know how you get on.
You have my respect! Daniela from Slovakia
Thanks Daniela. That’s nice of you to say.
I found out about your wonderful mission only last night in a discussion and as an Iranian I was so curious what you’d read. Brilliant choices! I’ve read both Parsipur and Dolatabadi books in the original Persian and I hope that translators did them justice. Both are about the struggles of my grandparents and parents’ generation, as they grappled with life and inner dogma. Out of the three as glimpse into today’s Iran I would have chosen Alavi’s book. It captures the essence of a generation of Iranians I was a part of like no other. I hesitantly read it when it fort came out, as I was about to start post-grad studies in the UK. I liked it. But I reread it after 2009 ‘green’ protest in Iran and I loved it even more. For it identified the key players and predicted the political power of social media years before it could even be envisaged. It’s wonderful document of who we are. Most books I’ve read on Iran, are by Iranian ex-pat arm chair academics who all seem to have left the country around the 1979 revolution and their distance shows. But We Are Iran is about the children who grow up under the revolution and their legacy. If you are interested in then they should read it.
Thanks very much, Sara. We Are Iran is definitely on my to-read list. It sounds fascinating. Great to have your views.
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Tertium Organum – Ouspensky
Thanks David – it sounds like Ouspensky’s novel Strange Life of Ivan Osokin might be more of story, which is what I’ve been looking for during this quest. I’ll add it to the list
Hi David since you mentioned Tertium Organum (a personal favourite of mine) I thought you might be interested in the 2020 podcast on Tertium Organum (Philosophy Rekindled covered it for the full year of 2020) – it’s on most podcast platforms but here is the Spotify one https://open.spotify.com/show/45tKZBhNghDc0MwJGPgA2O?si=VGutV225RYaZ9IUjGogHxQ
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Amazing Blog and books recommendations. I was curious what books of Mircea Eliade you have read in the Romania section. I would recommend Maitreyi:
Bengal Nights by Mircea Eliade :
The Secret of Dr Honingberger:
Thanks Cris – Maitreyi sounds great. I’ll investigate!
I have a very similar book blog project going on, only I haven’t limited the amount of time I’ll spend looking for and reading books from every country of the world. Your list will be a big help! I only just heard about your project, but it doesn’t surprise me that many people have got more or less the same idea without knowing about each other.
I hope your blog has inspired more people to read translated literature. I myself have always loved to read translated books even though many of my friends prefer books written in our native language Finnish.
You said in The Atlantic that you basically only read books in English. You’re very lucky to have a native language that allows you to find translated literature from every country in the world in your own language. Since my native language is not widely spoken, I wouldn’t be able to read books from every country in the world if I couldn’t read them in other languages as well.
My blog is in Finnish, so unfortunately I can’t invite you to read it, but if you wish to take a look at my choice of books so far, you’ll find the blog at http://kirjajokamaasta.blogspot.fi.
Best wishes to you,
Thanks Maria – always good to hear from another world reader. There are certainly lots of us out there. Best of luck with your own adventures!
I would like to suggest u.to read “Blue mimasa” by parijat. A melalu writer. The nobel blue mimasa hasbeen teaching. In america. Meryland university.
Great – thanks very much
I am from Malaysia and strongly recommend you reading the works of A. Samad Said.
Thanks – I’ll add him to the list. Nice picture by the way!
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William Dalrymple’s ‘Delhi – City of Djinns’.. A must read..!! 🙂
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Hello. Comment from an Icelander currently in Nepal. Your website was recently featured on an Icelandic news website. Was interesting if you have statisics on author regarding gender. How is the male/female percentage in your adventure?
Hi Thorsteinn. Thanks for your comment – it’d be great to see a link to the Icelandic news website as I haven’t seen the article myself! In terms of gender balance, I would say somewhere between a third and a half of the books I read are by women (although I haven’t formally counted up yet – perhaps I should!). Gender wasn’t a central consideration for me, although I did sometimes deliberately opt for female authored works where they seemed particularly interesting – for Lesotho and Saudi Arabia, for example. Thanks very much for stopping by.
Here’s the link on the news about you: http://www.dv.is/frettir/2014/1/4/las-allan-heiminn-ari-XJKVE4/
BTW, have you got a tip of how to access many of these books. The book about the African in Greenland I found very interesting but I’m not sure it’s available in many places?
Lovely, thanks. Many of the books are difficult to find – a lot were sent to me specially by people who wanted me to read them. Some are more widely available however. Last I checked, An African in Greenland was available on Amazon. Abe Books is also a good source…
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Hey from Ireland. Delighted you read the Third Policeman. It doesn’t get mentioned alongside the likes of Ulysses very often. Only finished it – really enjoyable. Good luck with your book next year!
Thanks. It’s an extraordinary read, isn’t it? A great find.
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Although it looks like you generally don’t need more books to add to the list, I just want to add that the quintessential book of Tajik literature, Yad-dasht-ha (Reminiscences) by Sadr al-Din ‘Aini, has been translated by a scholar in the field (or should I say, one of the two scholars in the field).
The book is essentially ‘Aini’s memoirs, detailing his life growing up as a Tajik in Bukhara, mainly among Uzbeks. I’m not sure if the book fits the bill for your blog, as it was published in the early 1950s in Stalinabad (now Dushanbe), before Tajikistan existed as a nation. But unlike your other novel from Tajikistan (written in Russian), ‘Aini’s memoirs were written in Tajiki, and he is claimed as the father of modern Tajik literature nowadays. I study Persian literature, so when I lived in Tajikistan, almost every educated Tajik would ask me if I had read ‘Aini. You can find his bio here:
And a helpful article on Tajik literature here (one of the few):
Not that you’ll have time to read those with all your novels to tackle!!! Best of luck on your quest.
Thanks – these sound fascinating. I’ll check them out when I next update the list.
Hello. I’m from Vietnam. I would like to suggest the book “Open The Window, Eyes Closed” by Nguyen Ngoc Thuan. For me, it’s a beautiful novel for children.
Please take a look: http://talkvietnam.com/2011/05/tuoitrenews-carry-portions-children-book/#.UtftunBPI2Y
Thanks – sounds interesting. I’ll check it out when I next update the list.
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Fantastic idea! I’ve read a few of them but have quite a bit of catching up to do 🙂
Thanks – hope you enjoy them!
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I think I am the last one to comment on it, but thnx anyway for sharing the list, Iam 23 yrars old and have a life before me but still want to read them all before dying! Thnx again 🙂
Only just discovered your blog, which is amazing. A few people have been doing something similar on Librarything.com, including me, though no-one has got quite as far as you! If you are interested, my posts and list are at: http://www.librarything.com/topic/28295
There is also a Finnish guy who has interesting posts:
What I find slightly depressing is how similar our lists (yours and mine) are, indicating perhaps how many countries we have very little access to literature from. The Finnish guy’s list is very different to mine, and there is lots of stuff translated into Finnish which is not available in English.
Anyway, thanks for the posts. I will be mining your list to help me complete mine.
Hi Andy. Good to hear from you. Yes, the sad truth is that there are many countries with only one author or even one novel commercially available in English (as well as a number with nothing commercially available at all – I read a quite a few unpublished translations during my quest). I hope projects like yours and mine will encourage publishers to back more literature from elsewhere. Good luck with the rest of your quest, Ann
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Malaysia is on the list – I read Shih-Li Kow’s Ripples and Other Stories from there.
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It’ fantastic. I’m sorry if I skipped some information, but I didn’t see anything related with Timor Leste. Am I wrong?
Thanks Fernando. It is there but under East Timor. Perhaps I should change it to Timor Leste!
To learn about the struggles in America about Americans of all ethnicities, read The Dollmaker, by Harriette Arnow
Thanks Verna. I’ll look into it.
Just discovered this world books list for the first time via the BBC website. Any other fans of Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy (India) out there? Please don’t try to read it in 1.87 days, read it slowly and soak it up. A book to stay with you for always.
Thanks – yes, it’s quite a read isn’t it!
My mother bought A Suitable Boy in 21 September 2000. 13+ years down the road, my reading of it is still in progress.
Wow – that’s impressive. I hope you are finding it worth the time!
Really a fancy idea!
There’s an old Chinese slang “Thousands miles of travel and thousands volumes of reading make people a saint”.I am jealous of you for you have enough time to fulfill your favorites. I’d like to advise you to read some works by Wang xiaobo, such as Black iron age, Silver age,Bronze age and Golden age(i don’t know whether i translate these titles correctly).
All the best
Thanks very much. They sound fascinating. I will see if I can find them…
Ann, I suggest to add one more book for Ukraine – “Evenings in a village near Dikanka”, by N.Gogol (1809-1852). He was one of the first authors to introduce the spoken Ukrainian to the official literature. Hope, you like it – I think it’s fun! You can read it at the weblink below. Good luck!
Thanks – I’ll add it to the list when I next update it.
UPENN has an option to choose a book by the author’s country of origin
1) search by subject – U – Ukrainian, or
2) see the left-side menu here –
Great stuff – thanks Ulianka. A useful resource!
This is an amazing project. Well done!
What a great idea realizing “one world” and may be starting to leave any colonial approach for good.
Thanks – or possibly many worlds. No two readers’ worlds are quite the same I think…
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I came upon your blog from the list of Recommended Blogs by WordPress. An excellent project and I am glad to see my country, Malaysia, is already in your list! The reading list is currently too short though, as we already have 14 National Laureates 🙂
I would like to recommend two Malaysian writers to add to your reading list:
1) Adibah Amin – This End of The Rainbow
2) Dina Zaman – I Am Muslim and King of The Sea.
Wish you all the best in this project.
Lovely, thanks Dasar. Great recommendations. I’ll add these to the list when I next update it.
Wow! What a lovely idea. I love reading but don’t always have the time … where did you get the time? Congratulations – I know your world will be greatly enriched through the process.
Anyway, here’s a suggestion for you from Kenya:
Chidlren of Saba – http://www.amazon.com/Children-Saba-Epic-Aphrike-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00GKA1KJO
It’s a relatively new book but its already had some great reviews. Its full of suspense and tells the epic story of a family discovering a secret, powerful legacy handed down to them by their ancestors.
It brought to life the majesty of Africa’s mysteries and vanishing tribes – past and present … full of adventure and I couldn’t put it down …I hope you love it as much as I did!
Thanks – I’ll check it out. It took a lot of discipline, but it was great fun too.
Will the books and stories that you listed be available to the public via e-readers etc or maybe an international book store?
The Book List is impressive…
maybe I should try reading more.
Thanks Nora. Many of the books already are available. In the case of the unpublished manuscripts I read, I’m hopeful that many of them will be published in due course. Watch this space…
I do not see anything listed for Bermuda- the UK’s oldest colony. Shakespeare’s The Tempest was based on the reports of the discovery of Bermuda, unfortunately all secondhand. A number of authors have written in Bermuda, Eugene O’Neil, Mark Twain and James Thurber being a trio of American writers who treated the island as a second home.
Mary Prince, born in Devonshire, Bermuda- the freed slave and anti-slavery agitator wrote her autobiography, which greatly influenced UK Parliament to rid the colonies of this trade.
Another Bermudian writer had some good reviews in the 70 & 80’s, a Brian Burland- his best book probably being A Fall from Aloft, The Sailor and the Fox coming in close behind.
Thanks Charles. Yes, that’s right. I read books from UN-recognised sovereign states (plus former UN member Taiwan), which is why Bermuda is not on the list, a personal regret for me as I know the place well. It was however a contender for my Rest of the World wild-card choice to represent countries not on the UN list – and Brian Burland was the author in the frame for that. You can read more about that here https://ayearofreadingtheworld.com/rest-of-the-world/
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Hi. Just happened to pass this column by sheer luck or rather good fortune now as I feel so encouraged to read more books. Such an inspiration. By the way, i would also recommend the following Hungarian novel>pál utcai fiúk /the paul street boys by Molnar Ferenc. Keep up the good work and wishing you all of the best. Cheers.
Brilliant – thanks! I’ll add it to the list when I next update.
This is an impressive list! What would you say are some of your top favorite books that you’ve read? I’m always down for good book recommendations.
Thanks – it’s always tricky to pick out favourites but there’s a list of my top commercially available ones in the FAQs section. Hope you find something you like!
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What an amazing thing to do. Being from India I am surprised that your list includes maximum books from here.
Thanks Sanjeev. I had lots of great Indian recommendations from book fans in your country and around the world.
I read your Canadian selections with interest, but may I suggest something from the eastern part of the country which has a deeper history? I highly recommend any by Donna Morrissey. Her books take place in Newfoundland…another end of the world place.
Thanks Margaret – I’ll look into this when I next update the list.
This is an impressive list that will take me more than a year to read. I noticed Sandra Cisneros is listed with the authors from Mexico. She is from the United States.
Ooh, thanks – I’ll amend that.
Love this blog. The Italian books list seems a little too modern. I love Sciascia, but Italians can do much, much better than bloody Baricco! Manzoni, Tomasi di Lampedusa, Pirandello, Dante, Levi, Svevo, etc.
Thanks. Yes, I’m a Lampedusa fan too! I wasn’t including works by writers I had already read, which is why he wasn’t on the list, but I may have to rethink that now the project’s finished. Thanks for your other suggestions too – I’ll look into them when I next update the list.
You Are Amazing Morgan………. Hv A Lotzz Of Wishes ❤
Thanks very much!
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Congratulations Sis!! I know its not the right place to ask questions but you read a lotta works from India. What do you think of this country sis ?
Thanks. I actually only read one book from India for the project, although lots more were suggested and I hope to read many of them in the years to come. India is certainly an incredibly rich nation for stories!
This is outstanding. I have now added many of the books mentioned to my own reading list. This must have been an exhilarating, fulfilling experience for you. If only I had half the determination and motivation to accomplish something like this. Thank you for introducing me to literature pieces from around the world. As a Comparative Literature student, I have read works from regions that one normally wouldn’t, but this just showcases that literature from outside the western world is just as good as the ‘canon’ or what is known.
Thanks Mary. I hope you enjoy them. It was a great experience.
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Great work. Maybe you can try poetry from around the world next.
Yes – it would certainly make for quicker reading!
Great idea, wonderful project! I can advice a book from my country- Latvia- that I didn’t spot in your list and that is truely remarkable- The Child of Man by Janis Klidzejs. It’s a novel about a little boy in the pre-war independent Latvia and it is especially special for me because it takes place in the region that I come from- Latgale. Unfortunately my search for its’ English version has been unsuccessful so far but maybe you can find it one day.
Thanks Evija – sounds great. Let’s hope it makes it into English – then I can add it to the list!
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on kitchen clock. Regards
I love the concept of this blog. This must have been a very fruitful project. In India there is some wonderful regional writing going on (you have mentioned a few of them in your list. I feel they paint a very different picture of the country, than what Indian English writing does. Unfortunately, marketing is a problem for regional writing, and their translated copies don’t really do as well as Indian English writing.
Thanks very much. Yes, the book I read during this project was one of MT’s novels, translated from Malayalam. I am keen to explore Indian literature further.
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Bykau — the author of Sotnikau — was Vasil, not Uladzimir
Thanks – I have amended this!
By the way, the novel “Sotnikau” was also translated into English by Gordon Clough under the name “The ordeal”
Also the top-20 of the best Belarusian prose works chosen by popular vote are:
1. Uladzimir Karatkevich. The Spikes Under Your Sickle
2. Uladzimir Karatkevich. King Stakh’s Wild Hunt
3. Ivan Melezh. People in the Swamp
4. Yanka Kupala. “Tutejshyja” (‘the locals’) (play)
5. Jan Barszczewski. Nobleman Zawalnia, or Belarus in Fantastic Stories
6. Uladzimir Karatkevich. The Black Castle of Alshany
7. Yakub Kolas. At a Crossroads
8. Vasil Bykau. Sign of Misfortune
9. Uladzimir Karatkevich. Christ Landed in Harodnia
10. Vintsent Dunin-Martsinkyevich. Pinsk Nobility (play)
11. Vasil Bykau. Alpine Ballad
12. Vasil Bykau. The Cry of the Crane
13. Vasil Bykau. Sotnikau
14. Ivan Shamyakin. The Heart on the Palm
15. Uladzimir Karatkevich. The Boat of Despair
16. Yanka Maur. Palesse Robinsons
17. Yanka Kupala. Paulinka (play)
18. Vasil Bykau. The Long Road Home (autobiograhy)
19. Uladzimir Karatkevich. The Land Under White Wings (essays)
20. Vasil Bykau. The Swoop
I love the list but in mexican books you should read One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. Hope you like it 🙂
Thanks. Marquez is great, isn’t he, but he’s actually a Colombian writer…
Gabriel García Marquez (Colombia, 1927-2014) lived and died in Mexico. Marquez himself said he was inspired and influenced by the work of Juan Rulfo (Mexico, 1918-1986) – If you read some of Marquez´s books you can easily realise there are similarities.
for Bulgaria: Doomed souls by Dimitar Dimov. There is also a movie based on the book that is pretty good.
Thanks. I’ll check it out when I next update the list.
You may want to add another one to the Jordanian List! I am Jordanian Canadian, and I have recently published God Forsaken Part 1: Hadi with Titan Inkorp. I’m very excited! And honestly, I’m loving this blog. VERY interesting. 😀
Good to hear from you – best of luck with it!
For Australia I highly recommend `The road from Coorain` by Jill Ker Conway. I am Canadian and could recommend a ton of Canadiana literature, but you made some excellent Canadian choices.
Thanks Marsha. Hello to Halifax – I visited as a student and loved the place.
Great list, with over a 1000 entries now. I worked on a list with Facebook friends of “Novels you might want to read in your life-time given half the chance” – and our lists match about 20 of these novels. You should include Marguerite Yourcenar for Belgium (one of the best writers on this planet). One point, you realise that you have Andric and his book The Bridge on the Drina under both Bosnia and Serbia – was that deliberate?
Thanks very much. Great spot on Andric – I will sort that out. And thanks for the Marguerite Yourcenar tip off too. She sounds great, although most people seem to consider her French.
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this is amazing and a challenge to me.
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Random authors and books from the bedside table:
Denmark: Smila’s Sense of Snow. Estonia: Purge. France: Anything by Houellebecq. Germany: Thomas Mann. US: American Pastoral. Pynchon. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Canada: Deafening, The Three Day Road. Carol Shields. Greece: Souel. Kazatzakis (all of him). England: Virginia Woolf. The Remains of the Day. Russia: Anna Karenina. Egypt: Alexandrian Quartet. Turkey: The Time Regulation Institute.
Very nice story, and effort overall. I’ve been doing this for years: traveling through books. I think there are a number of humans out there doing something very similar- a great idea to start keeping track of countries. Also: I never moved anywhere before reading a representative book and liking it- which made things so much more fun!
Anyway. Best of luck
Ooh – great. Thanks. Will go through these when I next update the list!
congrats ! I have just started this journey myself, I must say your list is very helpful (I plan to take 10 years rather than one 🙂 )
Thanks – good luck with your quest!
This is great, i’ve merely scanned through the list, (I was looking to see what you wrote about Uganda), in future, you may want to look at Kintu (Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi), Upon This Mountain (Timothy Wangusa), Fate of the Banished, The Unfulfilled Dream, Footprints of the Outsider ( Julius Ocwinyo), The First Daughter, Secrets No More, Waiting (Goretti Kyomuhendo), Voice of a Dream (Glaydah Namukasa), Sigh!!! The list goes on…with a help of a friend, i’m completing a African Writer’s Series challenge (2014). (I might take you on your quest :p )
Thanks Emi. These sound excellent. I’m planning to update the list soon, so will check these out when I do.
Hi! I just discovered your blog and I’m loving it. Whenever I visit a new country, I always try to buy and read a book from a national author (if I can read it in its native language, even better). Good travels and readings. I’ll keep on reading your posts.
Thanks and happy travels!
Hi, is Harry Potter included here? 🙂
It could have been, but no one suggested it! Also, at the time of the quest I wasn’t including books I’d already read on the list. Maybe when I next update it though…
This is so inspiring … I salute you! 🙂
Great idea! My suggestion from Hungary:
Péter Nádas: A Book of Memories; Paralell Stories
Thanks – I’ll add it to the list when I next update it.
If I may, I’d like to suggest that “Sana Krasikov” is not a good representative of a “Georgian writer”. As I understand (and correct me if I’m wrong), the idea behind reading a book from each country was to get a sense of diversity of life experiences (and literary idiosyncrasies) around the world. Sana’s book that you chose, reflects neither Georgian life experiences nor Georgian literary culture and understandably so. The writer is too Americanized (having lived in the U.S. for a while, and writing in English) to be able to capture the idiosyncratic nature of Georgian literature. Her book that you chose could have easily been written by an Ukrainian/Russian/Armenian/Belorussian/Azerbaijani/etc. emigrant who has an intimate understanding of life realities of emigrants in NYC from former soviet union. Therefore, in my humble opinion this is not a book/writer that could be relied on to provide a representation (or a taste of) literature from Georgia.
For sampling a true Georgian literary idiosyncrasies, I’d recommend reading:
Data tutachkhia (by Chabua Amiredjibi)
Kvachi Kvachantiradze (by Mikheil Javaxishvili)
And perhaps the most impressive of all Georgian literature translated in English so far:
A man was going down the road (by Otar Chiladze)
Thanks Michino. I actually read an anthology of Georgian literature, not Sana Krasikov – you can see my review here or by clicking on ‘Georgia’ on the list. Thanks for your suggestions – I’ll add what I can to the list when I next update it.
Very very interesting list. But from my Lithuania list I find out little bit random writers – they were sugested by comercial editors, not professional critics, I suppose… Serious in this list are Černiauskaitė, Gavelis, Sruoga.
Thanks – do you have other recommendations you would add?
she read books from my country’s trash , she didnt pick the right books, i feel sorry for her, waste of time!
Hi Roylan. Sorry to hear you feel that. What would your recommendation be?
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Hi there! I love this idea and I am looking to follow suit. (But just one note, Neil Gaiman is a British author, not American!)
Thanks Triana. Gaiman was a test case for me. Because I got lots of recommendations for books by British and American authors who had lived in other parts of the world for a period of time as books ‘from’ these other places, I wanted to see how it would feel to turn things around and explore whether a non-US writer who had lived in America for 20 years could count as writing American fiction. My UK book was also an unusual choice, being a novel in translation from Welsh. I felt that as most of my reading had been British or American before this project these were an opportunity to test the boundaries a bit.
Even though we are not a country Puerto Rican literature is very unique, therefore I think you would enjoy a book called “el corazon de Voltaire” by Luis Lopez Nieves its sequel is very good as well called “el silencio de galileo”. Translations should be easy to find, enjoy!
Wonderful – thanks Luis. I shall look it up.
With best wishes
It was challenged but congratulations.I imagine that you’ve discovered many beautiful things and you read also the book of my lovely country Senegal.
Thanks – yes it was a real adventure.
Wow, it’s amazing that you’ve read all these books! I’m so delighted to see that you’ve read Marija Jurić Zagorka’s books; she’s one of my favourite authors (I’m Croatian) and I can’t resist recommending you some other Croatian authors such as Antun Gustav Matoš; he’s an amazing modernist poet who combined themes of love and death. Also, the already mentioned writer Zagorka wrote a cycle of 7 novels – ”The Witch of Gric”; it’s an amazing read set in the second half of the 18th century Zagreb and Vienna; it has elements of Romanticism (love stories, secret castles, nature and the idea of liberty, mysticism, murders).
Many regards, Bye 🙂
Thanks, I’ll check these out when I next update the list!
Hello! I absolutely support you. Hope you’ll have enough time to finish it. And I wanted recommend you some books from my motherland : Kyrgyzstan. Chinghiz Aitmatov : The first teacher, Farewell Gul’sary, The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years. I hope you enjoy it! Good luck! =)
Thanks Anastasia. I did manage to finish the quest in a year in 2012, but I’m still accepting recommendations for the list so I’ll check yours out when I next update the site. Thanks again
Hi Ann, it is a brilliant idea to do this huge project, I am writing to you from China, I recommend Funeral of the Muslims ——Huo Da, which is my favorite book in Chinese, about love, war, feudal ethical. Hope you enjoy your reading 🙂 Good Luck :)~ Jin ~
Hi Jin. Thanks very much for this recommendation – I will look it up.
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Love your blog and “The List”! I urge you to consider my favorite book of the past year, “A Time of Ghosts,” by Hok-Pang Tang and David Coomler. It is an astonishing life history of Hok-Pang Tang as he grew up in China, starting before the Communist take-over, through the horrors of the so-called “Great Cultural Revolution” and its aftermath. After coming to America, Hok-Pang would tell his story to Coomler, who wrote it down and wove it together into this moving narrative. I admit that I wept over some episodes. It is a story of torment and endurance, despair and heroic hope, both of an individual and his country. You will not regret reading it.
Thanks very much – I’ll look into this when I next update the list.
This is a wonderful idea! I am part of a group inspired by this, which has been reading its way around the world. I have a question for Anne and readers of this blog–for Kuwait, I read a special issue of Banipal (a Granta-like publication for Arab literature) dedicated to Kuwaiti writers. I found a book I’d like to read but can’t find an English translation anywhere: Ismail Fahd Ismail’s When the Frog Croaked. Does anyone know how I could get hold of this?
Hi. Great to hear about your book group. I hope you’re enjoying the journey. I don’t know about Ismail Fahd Ismail, but I certainly remember Kuwait being a tough country to get English translations from. I would suggest contacting Banipal – they might be able to point you in the right direction. Best of luck – let me know how you get on.
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Thanks! Will contact Banipal.
I do have a recommendation–a wonderful poet from St. Lucia called Hippolyte Kendal. The book I read was called Night Vision. I am going to read more of him. He writes about contemporary St. Lucia but also about language and the power of words.
Thanks – he sounds great. The list on this site contains prose works, but I enjoy reading poetry too, so I will check him out.
I am a girl from China. It’s amazing what you’ve done. You are awesome! I know a book called The Funeral of The Muslims written by Huo Da, a Chinese writer. It tells a story of a family. It’s about history, religion, love, the meaning of life and many things. It will help you gain a better understanding of our country, our nation and culture. I hope you enjoy it!
Thanks very much. Several people have suggested this book – it is clearly a popular choice. I have added it to the list and look forward to reading it.
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Your reading project is a great idea. I am Brazilian and I like Machado de Assis Jorge Amado and Lygia Fagundes Telles very much.
I would suggest you to read the following authors:
Argentina- Jorge Luis Borges: Fictions:
A Hidden Life
Pattern for a Tapestry
Milton Hatoum-He is also a very good contemporary Brazilian writer:
The Ashes of the Amazon
If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller
I wish you all the best and good books.
Thanks Renata. Yes, Italo Calvino is amazing isn’t he? I read ‘If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller’ years ago and you’re right – I should add it to the list. I will check out the others when I next update it. Thanks again
Simply lovely! When I saw that you had authors in Africa, which most people do not include, I knew instantly that I would love your blog! Thanks for being thorough and for including writers of the world.
Thank you. Glad you like it? Do you have any top recommendations I should check out for my list?
Yes… I have a few suggestions:
* Ben Okri (Nigeria) – ‘The Famished Road’;
* Buchi Emecheta (Nigeria) – ‘Joys of Motherhood’, is a classic;
* Leopold Oyono (Cameroon) – ‘The Old Man and The Medal’ really a Cameroonian classic (http://afrolegends.com/2010/07/30/le-vieux-negre-et-la-medaille/);
* Severin Cecile Abega (Cameroon) – ‘The Bimanes’ extremely funny (http://afrolegends.com/2013/06/25/petits-metiers-vendeur-de-soya-small-trades-soya-seller/);
* Ousmane Sembene (Senegal) – ‘God’s Bits of Wood’, ‘ a classic(http://afrolegends.com/2009/09/21/ousmane-sembene-father-of-african-cinema/ ).
Great – thanks. I’ll check these out when I do my next update for the list
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You really have an extraordinary experience! That’s amazing!
Thanks – it was an adventure!
The author who is considered “The Vietnamese Balzac”: Vu Trong Phung. His translated works: Dumb Luck, and The Industry of Marrying Europeans, both available on Amazon. The translations couldn’t do justice to the brilliance of the original though.
Also, there is Duong Thu Huong, who has been nominated for the Nobel prize, even though I don’t like her works that much. Many of her novels have been translated into English and French.
Wonderful – thanks so much. I will check your suggestions out when I next update the list.
I call attention your enjoyment of reading and books in particular. I am Salvadoran writer and read the list of the books you read. I found the list to Horacio Castellanos Moya, I, I read some books this author
I love the exhaustive and exclusive list. Such a great idea! Saw some of my favourites there 🙂 If you’d like you can read The Romantics by Pankaj Mishra and God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. The former is based in Banaras, India and the latter Kerala, India. Hope you like them!
Thanks – yes, I read Roy’s novel years ago. It’s great isn’t it? I’ll look up Mishra when I next update the list.
This is a great book about Zimbabwe from the white farmer’s perspective. http://www.amazon.com/One-Hundred-Four-Horses-Memoir/dp/0062204378/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419113312&sr=1-1&keywords=104+horses
Interesting – thanks. I’ll have a look when I next update the list.
What a great idea and very insightful. Thank you for sharing the list–truly looks amazing and I cannot wait to dig in!
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Please read the Mayombe by Pepetela.
I never been much of a reader but once I started reading this book, I couldn’t stop and for the first time in my life I finished reading a book in one night. This book explores the story of a young soldier in Angolas struggle for independence from Portugal and his love for his cheating face, Ondina.
That sounds like a great recommendation. I’ll have to look it up!
The USA also is host to nations within the nation such as the Navajo Nation located in Northern Arizona. Books from there have a completely different flavor than those elsewhere. To get an inkling of the Navajo mindset read any of the Tony Hillerman mysteries.
For a controversial view of the Southwest US try Edward Abbey’s Desert Solotaire…my favorite book of all time.
Thanks David. These sound intriguing. I’m certainly keen to read some more literature from America’s other nations
Zanzibar – M.M. KAYE
New Zealand -Bride Flight
India – Thrity Umrigar
Nigeria- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Egypt -Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb
Thanks Shari. I’ll check these out when I next update the list
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I just typed in ‘reading a fiction from every country’ because I thought it would be a cool thing to do, and your list came up. I think it’s a wonderful thing that you’ve done. I can’t do it as fast as you did, but I am going to try to follow your footsteps at my own pace. One novel I would like to recommend that I did not see on your list is “Reading Lolita in Tehran.” Thank you for the inspiration!
Thanks Kristin. Yes, I read that book some years ago. It’s very interesting!
Truly inspirational what you are doing.
I am from Norway, and have read almost all of the books you have listed there – and of those, I undoubtedly choose Per Petterson Out Stealing Horses. Incredibly touching story.
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The concept is brilliant and inspiring! I am an Indian and am so happy to find out so many books from India on your list, especially, Mrityunjay by Shivaji Savant. It is in Marathi, which is my mother tongue. Can I suggest a couple of books?
You are reading Train to Pakistan by India’s great writer Khushwant Singh. I would like you to read Delhi by the same author. It tells the story of the magnificent city from the ancient times to the recent times through the eyes of narrators living in the city at different times. I hope you will love it.
Also, please read Totto Chan by Tetsuko Kuroyagangi. I don’t know the exact English title. It is a true story of Totto Chan (the writer herself) a primary schoolgirl who is so troublesome in the classroom that the teachers have no option but to dismiss her out of the school. Her mother then finds out an unorthodox yet amazing school for her, established by a teacher who had revolutionary ideas about schooling. Beautiful innocent childhood novel set during the second world war. It is highly recommended.
Thank you very much!
What an idea..! I love it..
Thanks. I have recently read Delhi – a great book! I will check out your other recommendation when I next update the list.