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Book suggestions

I am a passionate reader and I like books from authors all over the world. I thought about which books I would recomend to someone and the following (still uncomplete) list came into existance. I would like to have a feedback on it and know what you think about it.

* Isabel Allende: "The house of the spirits"
* Waris Dirie: "Desert Flower", "Nomad daughter", "Letter to my mother" (about FGM)
* Mariama Ba: "Une lettre si longue" (marriage between people from different cultures; I don't know the exact title in English but I will check it out)
* Ousmane Sembene: "Guelwaar" (introspection into Senegalese society)
* Arundati Roy: "The God of the little things" (life of children in India)
* Maurizio Gatti: "Bilal" (description of the immigrant route from Africa to Italy and explanation of situation in centers of detention; workforce exploitation)
* Betty Mahmoody: "Not without my daughter" (child abduction, Iranian culture on women and education)
* Hoffmann: "The White Masai" (a Swiss woman who marries a Masai and lives in his culture).
* Paulo Coelho: "Eleven minutes" (immigration, prostitution, women's condition in Switzerland)

Hope to get feedback and critics on it.


asha's picture

Our Writers..

Dear Eliana,
That is a most creative idea of sharing. We all have the problem of now what do I read....or even what should I read.
In this forum it is obvious that our major message is "Womwn".But I am very much against confining ourselves to "Women Cause" and concerns as this limits our intellectual scope and understanding of other Global action around us.
With this understanding, I like the variable reading list you produced: Topic wise, ethnicwise, Geographicalwise etc.
Belonging to a different culture, I would love to add the name of one of our most celebrated writers who died recently and whose novels are translated to tens of languages...
If my comment is acceptable I would add more - not necessarily from one culture.

Tayeb Salih: Season of Migration to the North (available in English, Arabic, French and other languages..
Wishing you the Best...


sarah_lou's picture

Great list Eliana! I've only

Great list Eliana! I've only read two of the books on the list but I plan to check out the rest :) The ones I've read are The House of the Spirits, and The God of Small Things. I adore Arundati Roy, and I think her book is possibly one of my favourites.
I've read reviews of 'Eleven Minutes' but wasn't sure or not whether to read it, but as you're recommendin it with other good books, I'll try it :)
The only book I'd criticise on your list is 'The White Masai' I haven't read it myself,but I have heard a lot a criticism about it, and the way it's written, I found this article which explains my viewpoint a little bit, I'll see if i can find some more :)

I also agree with you Asha, that it's important to be as broad as possible when choosing books to read. I try to read as much as I can from other cultures to get a wider perspective :) Although, I am trying to prioritise female writers as I think that because it is harder for women to become writers we should try to support them and focus on them. Most cultures place more importance on, and give more attention to men who write, so I want to try and focus on women for once :)
I like your recommendation of Tayeb Salih's book, I think I'll read that next :)

best wishes, sarah

Sharese's picture


I love book suggestions thank you for this post Eliana!

Dannie's picture

Great list Eliana, the

Great list Eliana, the English title for Mariama Ba's book is So Long a letter and its not about marriage between people of different cultures but rather it is a condemnation of polygamy within the senegalese islamic culture and depicts it as oppressive to the woman whether elite or not, it is one of the best books on feminism.
i have also read paulo coehlo's eleven minutes.
good day

"Look out for happiness and you will be happy or else you will make someone happy"

Eliana's picture

Hi Dannie, thanks for the

Hi Dannie, thanks for the correction of the book title: I read it in French and German so I was not sure about the English translation. It was quite difficult for me to describe the content of it in so few words and I appreciate that you added these informations. There are many themes Mariama Ba deals with in this book and it is a modern book for the time she wrote it. I really liked it a lot. If you find the time I suggest to you "Guelwaar" of Ousmane Sembene.
Thank you for your correction. Would appreciate your book suggestions, too.
have a nice day
Peace to you


lewisfamily1908's picture

Thanks for the list!

I'll definitely be reading several of these... thanks, Eliana! I'll exchange a few of your suggestions for a few of mine:

Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn.
The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison.
The Giver, by Louis Lowry. (This one is adolescent literature, but eye opening nonetheless.)


Potter's picture

A Few More Titles

For those with an interest in Sierra Leone, I recommend Aminata Fornah's The Devil that Danced on the Water, which is her account of trying to discover what happened to her father who was executed during Siaka Stevens' presidency. Her novel, Ancestor Stones is also good (and less wrenching).

Anything by Nigerian Buchi Emecheta is great, especially the Joys of Motherhood, not so joyous in her telling. Egyptian author, Nawal El Saadawi, is amazing. God Dies by the Nile is both lyrical and grim. Her work, translated from Arabic, should be widely available.

Two novels by Iraqi authors I enjoyed are Alia Mamdouh's Napthalene and Betool Kedairi's Absent. I'd be very interested to hear what others thought of either of these two.

Keep the suggestions coming!!! Greatly appreciated. I've read several that are on the group's list and you've given me some great books to look for next time I'm at the library.

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