Lit Lists

  • Sculpture of person reading a book in a park with red flowers
    September 23, 2014 | Jen Rickard Blair
    Photo by Nèg Foto Whether you’re looking for a quick escape on your midday break or a quiet lunch with that always entertaining friend, literature, this list includes five short works of fiction that you can read alongside your favorite lunchtime meal. These various translations have appeared in the pages of World Literature Today and range from dryly humorous to absorbingly deep. 1. “T...
  • Little Bee
    January 22, 2014 | Janny Gandhi
    Photo by Anuska Sampedro/Flickr The United States prides itself upon being, as the clichéd phrase goes, “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” However, whenever the courageous refugees fleeing from destitution or oppression come to its borders for aid, they are often stopped at the gates of their envisioned heaven, accused of being criminals, and forcibly thrown into a torturous limbo...
  • The Zookeeper's Wife
    January 13, 2014 | Justin Mai
    The recent movie adaptation of the novel Ender’s Game, along with the continued strife in Syria, remind us that, reality or fantasy, genocide is a topic we are unable to avoid. Whether in the dark jungles of the Congo, the sunbaked plazas of Turkey, or the snowy wastes of Auschwitz, genocide has left scars the world over. Today we consider books by authors that address the topic in order...
  • November 6, 2013 | Kyle Margerum
    People often say food is good for the soul, not just the stomach. Well, literature is a lot like food—it comforts the soul in ways nothing else can. A good book takes you to a place, a time, you have never experienced before. You become friends with the characters; you interact with them; you understand them, and, to an extent, they understand you. Much like food, you need a constant stream of li...
  • International Halloween Literature
    October 24, 2013 | Janny Gandhi
    “Halloween wraps fear in innocence, as though it were a slightly sour treat. Let terror, then, be turned into a treat.” – Nicholas Gordon As All Hallows’ Eve approaches, prepare yourself for lurking, ghoulish entities and supernatural occurrences by reading some of this year’s most skin-tingling, hair-raising, nail-biting horror stories from around the world.        1. Paprika ...
  • June 5, 2013 | Sarah Smith
    Poetry has a long history in the Middle East (as author Khaled Furani examines in one of the new books listed below), and Palestinians in the footsteps of Mahmoud Darwish and many other predecessors are turning to poetry and forms of new literacies to deal with the political turmoil of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Palestinian writer Susan Abulhawa recently published a poem for Samer Issawi,...
  • June 3, 2013 | Jen Rickard Blair
    “Resiliency is the transformative process in life that changes the dark coal of adversity into a brilliant clear diamond of strength. It is the force that energizes us to grow through diversity or change by discovering our own resources, abilities, and strengths.” —R. Murali Krishna, Vibrant: To Heal and Be Whole (2012) The stigma and often subsequent discrimination attached to mental di...
  • April 30, 2013 | Melissa Weiss
    1. He wrote the song “A Boy Named Sue” popularized by Johnny Cash. Johnny Cash - A Boy Named Sue (Live At San... by DJ_DirtyDevil   2. In 1956 he started drawing comics for Playboy magazine. He contributed to the magazine until 1998. 3. He served in the Korean War and worked on the military magazine Pacific Stars...
  • April 24, 2013 | Melissa Weiss
    The Man from Snowy River (1982, Australia) Director: George Miller; Screenplay: Cul Cullen, John Dixon; Poem: Banjo Patterson (same title) Jim Craig is eighteen when his father dies, and to keep the family farm from going under, he goes to work in the lowlands. Based on the epic poem by Banjo Patterson, The Man from Snowy River narrates a coming-of-age story of a young man prov...
  • April 22, 2013 | Melissa Weiss
    Retrato de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. por Miguel Cabrea, 1750.  Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651–95) was born in San Miguel Nepantla, Tepetlixpa, Mexico. At a young age, she often read the books in her grandfather’s study at the hacienda chapel, despite the fact that reading was forbidden to females. She joined the order of San Jerónimo in 1669,...
  • Outside Your Window: First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies
    April 15, 2013 | Melissa Weiss
    While we’re celebrating poetry, let’s not overlook the poets who have written for children. Here are five international poets you should know, all of whom have included children’s poetry among their work.    Nicola Davies was born in Suffolk, England. She is a zoologist and children’s author and worked on a BBC children’s television show about wildlife: Really Wild Show. Her children’s...
  • Nelson Mandela
    April 10, 2013 | Molly Evans
    In the wake of the complicated legacy left behind by Venezuela’s late president, Hugo Chavez, we take a look at new books from around the world that tell the stories of political and revolutionary leaders, and the people who rise above. Invigoration as well as oppression by history’s most prominent leaders yields some of the most liberating accounts of a nation’s people. This list does not pay ho...
  • February 11, 2013 | Laura Hernandez
    Katniss Everdeen of Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games trilogy is just one recent example among many brave, inspiring female protagonists in young adult fiction. Today we extend our gaze across the globe to discover more of this same type of inspiring female protagonists from recent young adult books. These resilient young women stand up to the challenges of life and can remind the reade...
  • December 20, 2012 | Marla Johnson
    We are getting ready for our holiday break at WLT, wrapping up our year and tying up all the loose ends. As we prepare to go out the door and lock up the office until next year, we want to leave our readers something to peruse at their leisure for the next couple of weeks—something that can be read in short takes, between the celebrations and family gatherings (or perhaps something to he...
  • November 29, 2012 | Sarah Smith
    Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (2004, England) Susanna Clarke It’s 1806 and Britain is ravaged by the Napoleonic Wars—that is, until a Mr Norrell comes to the aid of his country with his magic. Soon, another magician, Jonathan Strange, emerges as well and joins Mr Norrell as his student. But Strange is drawn to the darker, more dangerous forms of magic, and he puts at risk both his relationship...
  • October 24, 2012 | Melissa Weiss
    A poet often sculpts language to invoke memory, feelings, and reflection. In this list of found poems, we discovered seven memorial sites all over the world that have incorporated poetry to commemorate and honor. 1. Women's Veteran Memorial Located in Arizona’s National Cemetery in Cave Creek is the Women’s Veteran Memorial featuring the poem “Invisible Soldier” by Sarge Lintecum. The memorial an...
  • October 4, 2012 | Jen Rickard Blair
    As Banned Books Week comes to a close, we shift our gaze upon the censorship of authors on an international scale. Below is a list of 17 books that have been banned in the last decade. The original version of this list can be found in WLT's censorship issue published in September 2006. Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007), banned in several U.S...
  • August 27, 2012 | Kaitlin Hawkins
    In May, we posted a list of 10 Unusual Micro Libraries that we discovered across the world and then opened the forum to you, our readers, to submit your own sightings of unusual or unique libraries. Following are your submissions, plus a few new finds that popped up along the way.  From Bunmi Ishola:Mexico City Book Truck http://www.good.is/post/the-book-truck-mobile-library-hits-mexico-city-s-s...