Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Reading Across Borders Challenge Update

I started this year with a somewhat small challenge, to read one book by an author from another country each month. I decided to expand that, however, to aim for the *slightly* larger long-term goal of reading a book from every country. I am fairly happy with my progress, although I feel some books don't count completely (my choices from Afghanistan, Cuba, China and Cambodia), and I would like to read some works in translation from these countries in the future. In the coming year, I would like to focus on Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

I haven't read too many on my list of original 12 books for this year, but I have continued to read books from all over the world. Here is a list of countries I have covered so far, totalling 23. The books that I read this year crossing borders (16 total) are linked to their review:

Nigeria: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe; Half of a Yellow Sun and Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
South Africa: The Life and Times of Michael K by JM Coetzee; Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton; and No Future Without Forgiveness by Desmond Tutu

Afghanistan: The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Cambodia: First They Killed My Father by Luong Ung
China: Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
India: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy; Red Earth and Pouring Rain by Vikram Chandra; and The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai (among others)
Israel: A Woman in Jerusalem by A.B. Yehoshua
Japan: I Am A Cat by Soseki Natsume; The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami; The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu
Russia: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Australia: Illywhacker, The True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey; Dirt Music, Cloudstreet and Blueback: A Fable for all Ages by Tim Winton; Zig Zag Street and Bachelor Kisses by Nick Earls.
New Zealand: The Bone People by Keri Hulme

Austria: The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Italy: Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
Portugal: Blindness by Jose Saramago
United Kingdom: Excellent Women and An Unsuitable Attachment by Barbara Pym (and many others)

North America: (Since I live in the U.S., I don't include any of my readings of US authors in this list)
Canada: Random Passage by Bernice Morgan; Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye, Alias Grace, and others by Margaret Atwood (and many more)
Cuba: Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia
Guatemala: I, Rigoberta Menchu, as told to Elizabeth Burgos-Debray
Mexico: Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquival

South America:

Brazil: The Alchemist and By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coehlo
Chile: House of the Spirits, Portrait in Sepia, Daughter of Fortune, and others by Isabel Allende
Colombia: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Anonymous said...

You've done great on your challenge so far! I think it's great that you are continuing with this into next year. Good luck!

meli said...

Not bad! As an Australian, I'm happy for Winton to be our main representative... (Though David Malouf is wonderful too, An Imaginary Life in particular).

Nyssaneala said...

iliana - Thanks! I guess this one is pretty easy for me, since I have always loved reading world lit. Though the availability of some of the books I would like to read isn't always that good.

meli - I'm a big Winton fan. I've actually read many more Aussie authors than I listed...but I lived in Brisbane for 4 years, which is a big reason why (I also had the pleasure of seeing Nick Earls rather frequently...we both seemed to like the same Chinese restaurant!).

Nyssaneala said...

And you're right Meli, about David Malouf. I'm a bit ashamed to say I haven't read anything by him yet, especially since he is from Brisbane.

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