Sharing this, because we get stuck in reading mainstream Western literature and forget there’s a whole world of books out there.
Starting with, the wonderful series on Ghanaian lit by African Book Addict. My inner ramblings on scanning the list – apart from I really need to check out more Ghanaian literature… the only one I’ve read on the list is Changes by Ama Ata Aidoo (which I read in University, one of two African books I remember reading and enjoying in that particular course; the other was Nervous Conditions by Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga). Already on my bookshelf but unread: The Beautiful Ones are not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei Armah. Now I’m curious about: Two Thousand Seasons by Ayi Kwei Armah, something by Kofi Awoonor (but need a rec from the blogger, for the uninitiated), and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (hmmm I feel like I’ve seen her on the Daily Show. Was she on the Daily Show?).
I’ll also share this post from my blog which was prompted by a friend’s facebook post asking for globally acclaimed/commercially successful novels published in the last 20-30 years that does not have an American/British character or any other significant connection to the US/UK (plot, setting etc.)? – you can see what we came up with in Whose Gaze? Whose Story? Whose POV? over on my author blog.
That post includes some of my Caribbean picks and I’m reminded of an earlier conversation, also on my facebook, about favourite Caribbean novels. I posted about that, too, right here on this blog. It was posted in 2010 and was called simply Caribbean Favourites, as it included the picks with reasons. Of course, that was seven (7) years ago and many books have come out since. For some of those you might check my lists (use the search feature to the right) for the short lists from Bocas, Burt, Guyana Lit Prize, or just search for the Caribbean’s best books (a very subjective term, I assure you).
It would be remiss of me not to point you to another popular feature on the blog, John Robert Lee’s carefully curated Caribbean bibliography – Discovering Caribbean Literature in English: A Select Bibliography. Also, while not limited to Caribbean books, feel free to check out my Blogger on Book series here and on the other blog.
If you’re a follower of the blog, you already know that I’ve been a fan of UK writer Ann Morgan’s Reading the World project ever since I discovered her blog. I’ve discussed her Caribbean picks, I’ve interviewed her, I’ve read and reviewed the book that came out of that blog project, I’ve recommended a read to her (post-project), and I still read her blog. You know what’s coming, right? I recommend you check it out, too. She’s still reading the world.
I’ll end with another of my favourite blogs – BookerTalk: Adventures with Great Novels from Around the World – which has a wonderful The View from Here series of interviews on world literature. I was interviewed on Caribbean literature for this series which also includes interviews with writers from the Phillipines, Japan, India, Colombia, and others (though, I just noticed – yikes – that the listing refers to Antigua and Barbuda as Antigua and Barbadoes – the kind of error that rubs Caribbean people the wrong way; Barbuda is Antigua’s sister island and Barbados is a whole other country) but which also has the blogger’s insights on books she’s read and she reads widely. A good spot for discovering books beyond…
What about you, how often do you read beyond mainstream Western lit? Any links to share?
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