The LitWyrm Book-a-Month Challenge prompt for the month of May is to read internationally.
Find a book written by a contemporary author of a different nationality than you. (For example, my grandmother has started reading a lot of Norwegian authors.) If you aren’t able to find a translation of a contemporary author you like, try reading a book steeped in a different culture. Basically the goal is to connect with a culture different from your own. We want to try to branch out with our reading and learn about others from their point of view.
Here are a few suggestions from my shelves:
- Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi– A professor of mine during college introduced me to this book, and I loved it. Nafisi’s descriptions of the people she encountered made me feel as though I was meeting them myself. By connecting her experiences with literature, she gives common ground for the reader to understand her life. I’d highly recommend giving this beautifully written account a try.
- Dreamtigers by Jorges Louis Borges–This one is admittedly a little older, published in 1985, but it’s an interesting read. A collection of postmodern poems and stories, Dreamtigers captures the reader with it’s expressive imagery and unique ideas.
- The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden–I posted on this book recently but thought it worth adding here. Though the author is American, her work is steeped in Russian folklore. She spent a year studying in Moscow, and her degree at Middlebury College focused on French and Russian literature. Her work brings to life the Russian wilderness from the past.
While I don’t have many international authors I know to recommend, Goodreads has some great lists that you may enjoy perusing:
- Try a Norwegian author : https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/norwegian-authors.
- Check out a Japanese author: https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=japanese+authors&qid=HzAAnMtXSW.
- Find an Italian author: https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/modern-italian-authors
- Not from Goodreads, but here’s a list of recommended Mexican authors: https://lithub.com/15-books-by-contemporary-mexican-writers-that-make-america-greater/.
- Popular Icelandic authors: https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/icelandic-authors.