Reading Lists

  • With the Tour de France still underway, here are 13 works of fiction and nonfiction alike tying the common thread of bicycling. Fill out your summer reading list with tales of pedaling that span from extreme racing to arduous and sometimes comical adventure.GoldChris Cleave Simon & Schuster, July 2012Main characters Zoe and Kate are in for the race of their lives whe...
  • The following post-independence books have served as important literary markers: Fiction, Poetry & DramaAgha Shahid Ali, The Veiled Suite: Collected Poems (Penguin, 2009)Sarnath Banerjee, Corridor (Penguin, 2004)Samit Basu, The GameWorld Trilogy: The Simoqin Prophecies, The Manticore's Secret, The Unwaba Revelations (Penguin, 2004–7) Upa...
  •    March 2013
    When we asked Yousef Khanfar, guest editor of our March 2013 issue, to come up with a list of his favorite photography books, he sent us the following list of thirty-two essential titles. These are in addition to the many books by the twenty professional photographers he chose for inclusion in the March issue, whose work captures some of the most powerful and iconic images of our time....
  •    July 2013
    More than a century after the abolition of slavery, the market for human beings is alive and well. From violent abductions and the sale of family members to voluntary participation due to a lack of empowerment and viable alternatives, human trafficking is a global phenomenon that results in the exploitation and victimization of tens of millions of women, men, and...
  • In celebration of the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature, WLT intern Kaitlin Hawkins asked some of the writers featured in the January 2012 issue about the children’s books that inspired them. Ryan Boudinotfeatured in "New Books" from WLT, January 2012The Summerfolk by Doris Burn (Putnam Publishing Group, 1968) The Summerfolk...
  •    May 2012
    A supplement to the May 2012 issue of WLT.Berlin Cityscapes Berlin TalesHelen Constantine, ed., tr. Lyn Marven (Oxford University Press, 2009). VisitationJenny Erpenbeck, tr. Susan Bernofsky (New Directions, 2010). Book of CloudsChloe Aridjis, (Black Cat, 2009); reviewed in WLT 83:5...
  •    March 2013
    A friend recently came across a book review that described my novel, The Darlings, as a “financial thriller.” She wrinkled her nose. “Financial thriller?” she asked me. “Isn’t that an oxymoron?”   At first blush, finance can seem dry. The language of hedge funds and bond trading is admittedly anything but thrilling. The financial world is, however, wonderful...
  • There’s no disputing the excellence of To Kill a Mockingbird, The Trial, and the other creative works that often appear on best-of law-and-lit lists. But there are many more novels, stories, and poems that capture what we seek through the law, how the law works in our lives, and how lawyers’ lives are affected by working in the law. Is Harper Lee’s beloved novel better than Nadi...
  •    May 2012
    A supplement to the May 2012 issue of WLT: further reading on Iran, Iraq, and Palestine.    Iran Simin Daneshvar, Savushun: A Novel about Modern Iran, tr. M. R. Ghanoonparvar (Mage, 1991).   Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, Missing Soluch, tr. Kamran Rastegar (Melville House, 2007).    Shirin Ebadi, Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope, tr. Azad...
  • Life is More Beautiful Than Paradise
    Translated literature is for grown-ups—or so goes conventional anglophone wisdom. And yet there are excellent translated titles available for younger readers, offering them a broader literary palate.  Since 1968 the US-based Mildred L. Batchelder Award has celebrated translated literature for young readers. This year, Lebanese author Zeina Abirached’s graphic novel A Game for Sw...
  • With apocalyptic topics ranging from dystopia to nuclear disaster, this reading list compiled by WLT intern Kaitlin Hawkins also conjures ideas of end-days in all forms from poetry to prose.1. Zombies Robin Becker, Brains: A Zombie Memoir (HarperCollins, 2010) www.harpercollins.comDead Inside: Do Not Enter (Chronicle Books, 2011) www.chroniclebooks.comIsaac...
  • Lovetown by Witkowski
    In the print edition of WLT, I recommended LGBT books with a political slant. These books reflect the importance of our role as artists. At the intersection of art and sexuality, art must truly reflect who we are in the context of our worlds and ourselves. These additional books address the journey of that responsibility.   Sea and Fog Etel Adnan Born in Beirut, Lebanon,...
  •   David Barnes & Megan Fernandes, eds. Strangers in Paris: New Writing Inspired by the City of Light (Tightrope, 2011)   Geoff Dyer Paris Trance (North Point Press, 2000)   Conor Fennell A Little Circle of Kindred Minds: Joyce in Paris (Green Lamp Media, 2011)   Noël Riley Fitch & Rick Tulka Paris Café: The Sélect Crowd  (Soft Skull...
  • Discover new authors to read from Armenia to Uzbekistan in WLT's post-Soviet reading list. Links to read or purchase each book are provided. Armenia • Azerbaijan • Belarus • Estonia • Georgia • Kazakhstan • Kyrgyzstan • Latvia • Lithuania • Moldova • Russia • Tajikistan • Turkmenistan • Ukraine • Uzbekistan Armenia Violet Grigoryan and Vahan Ishkhanyan Deviation: Anthology of Conte...
  • Kenya is a country in transition. For decades, the country enjoyed a reputation as an oasis of peace in a troubled east African region. But behind this façade of peace, Kenya's full potential continued to be stifled by poor and dictatorial leadership, ethnic chauvinism, and corruption. Kenyans are a resilient lot, and we believe our country has great potential, from sporting excellence and gr...
  •    July 2011
    In this new series, WLT asks distinguished authors to recommend books about specific subjects within their area of expertise. In this installment, we've asked Iraqi writer Weam Namou to offer three books to which readers should turn for a better understanding of Iraq today. From the Mosul-based blogs of a modern-day Anne Frank to the memoirs and poetry o...
  • Song for Night
       March 2014
    It should go without saying that children bear the brunt of war as a nation’s most vulnerable citizens. Yet Graça Machel’s 1996 UNICEF report on the impact of war on children was new in both scope and topic. Why have we neglected this issue?  In my own explorations, I’ve been struck by how exile is a universal experience of young people who spend all or part of their childhood in a war zone. Exil...
  • History is usually about the “big picture”: geopolitics, religious change, social movements. Sometimes, it’s about the “little picture” and called “everyday.” I like the latter—the story of how people ate, dressed, formed bonds and communities, raised children, defined gender, divided labor.  I feel the same about accounts of imagined futures. Some concern clashes of civilizations, b...
  •    July 2012
    Whether seeking upward mobility, pursuing adventure, or escaping war, the characters in these migration narratives unsettle myths and demonstrate how geographic shifts impact everything from identity to daily life.   My Father’s Wives (2008) José Eduardo Agualusatr. Daniel Hahn  A brilliant tapestry of a tale, weaving fictions, hopes, facts, and dreams t...
  •   Kenzaburo Oe Oe received the 1994 Nobel Prize in Literature (see WLT, Winter 2002, 4–51). His most recent work in English is The Changeling (2010).   Haruki Murakami After Oe, Murakami is Japan’s most famous living author and a two-time nominee for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. His most recent work in English is IQ84 (2011).   Hisashi Inoue Inoue...
  •    March 2012
    To accompany Roger Robinson's web exclusive piece "Marathons of Memory, Marathons of Life" and his essay "Filling the Unforgiveble Minute: The Literature of Running" in the print edition of WLT, intern Kaitlin Hawkins takes us through Robinson's timeline of running literature. The Epic...
  •    May 2011
    The current issue of WLT features an interview with Danish writer Carsten Jensen, author of the maritime novel We, the Drowned. Here is a list of recommended maritime fiction by the editors at WLT.   1.Jens Bjørneboe, The Sharks, tr. Esther Greenleaf Mürer (Norvik, 1992) 2.John O. Coote, ed., The Norton Book of the Sea, 2 vols. (W. W. Norton, 1989–9...
  • Through a variety of stories, voices, and genres, Ru Freeman's recommendations offer unique perspectives on Sri Lanka. By discussing cricket as a meditation on politics, postcolonialism at a distance, and the Sri Lankan civil war, these books use narrative as a way to delve deeper into vexed sociopolitical issues. Chinaman / The Legend of Pradeep Mathew Shehan Karunatilaka (Ran...
  •    May 2013
    Writers of narrative or creative nonfiction often “immerse” themselves in places or with subjects for long periods in order to write about subjects intimately and in-depth. But due to familial responsibilities, this kind of reporting demands a kind of uninterrupted time and focus that can be difficult for many women to undertake. Perhaps this is why writers known for “immersion” are...
  • Testimonial narrative is at once a discrete literary genre and an acknowledgment of the limits of literature itself. Rather than evoking oppression and brutality as fiction might, testimonial literature lays them bare through the words of those who endure and painfully resist, exalting rather than hiding the rough edges of those written out of history.  Biography of a Runaway Slave  Migu...

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