World Of Literature Project

40 Countries …. And Counting

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Goal: Read books by authors from 50 different countries of the world.

Why A World of Literature Project?

We live in an increasingly global world. We’re connected by phone, Internet, snail mail, newspapers, magazines, television. Technology has enabled me to ‘meet’ many fellow book enthusiasts from all parts of the world, sharing our love of literature through blogs, Library Thing and GoodReads. I’ve read hundreds of books in my lifetime and yet I feel my reading has been somewhat limited. I know little about the literature of South America for example, have barely touched the surface with China and Africa.

Completion Date: originally January 2018 but now postponed to end of 2020

Progress update: May  2020: 40 countries completed.

I kicked off this project in 2013 with the idea of focusing initially on reading books from countries along the Equator and countries along the Prime Meridian.  Together that gave me a list 21 countries with an appealing mix of cultures, from Asia to Africa and Western Europe. Problem was that there are so few books available from some countries or if they do exist, they have not been translated into English. France was an easy one to tick off and I found a few options from the Congo but Burkina Faso and Mali have proved to be stumbling blocks. So I’ve had to go further afield. I could have made life easier if I had chosen books set in each country but I went for the more difficult set of rules….

The Rules

  • Books set in a particular country will not count towards this challenge. The book has to be written by an indigenous author.
  • Authors have to have been born or lived in the particular country to count but could be living elsewhere

The table below will show you what I’ve read so far but if you like something more visual, take a look at my Google Map 

CountryTitleAuthorDate read
AustraliaThe Snow KimonoMark HenshawAugust 2014
AfghanistanAnd the Mountains Echoed Khaled HosseiniMay 2013
AlgeriaMemory in the Flesh
Ahlam Mosteghanemi August 2013
AlgeriaThe Swallows of KabulYasmina KhadraFebruary 2017
Austria A Whole Life Robert SeethalerJuly 2019
BelgiumFear and TremblingAmelie Nothomb. Read June 2016
BrazilDom Casmurro Joachim Maria Machado de Assis
Burkina FasoThe Parachute DropNorbert ZongoJuly 2014
CanadaDear LifeAlice MunroJan 2014
ChileThe Infinite Plan Isabelle AllendeJune 2014
ChinaKinder Than SolitudeYiyun LiMarch 2018
China The Chilli Bean Past Clan Yan GeJune 2018
ColombiaThe ArmiesEvelio Rosero Diago
Croatia Hotel Tito Ivana Simić Bodrožić Read July 2019
CubaThe German GirlArmando Lucas Correa
CzechoslovakiaMiss Silver's PastJosef Škvorecký
Democratic Republic of The CongoFull CircleFrederick Yamusangie
DenmarkThe Murder of HallandPia Juul Dec 2016
Finland White HungerAki OllikainenMay 2015
FranceOld Goriot BalzacSept 2015
GermanyThe Search for Christa TChrista WolfSept 2015
GhanaWife of the Gods Kwei QuarterySept 2013
GhanaHomegoing Yaa Gyasi Dec 2017
GuadeloupeThe Tree of LifeMaryse Conde July 2016
Holland/the NetherlandsThe EveningsGerard Reve Read 2017
HungarySatantangoFebruary 2014
IndiaThe Glass PalaceAmitav GhoshMarch 2014
IrelandThe Spinning Heart Donal RyanJuly 2014
IrelandHistory of the RainNiall WilliamsSept 2014
IsraelA Man Lies DreamingLavie Tidhar2015
IsraelWaking Lions Ayelet Gundar-goshen 2017
ItalyInspector MontelbanoAndrea CamilleriSept 2014
JamaicaThe Long SongAndrea LevyAugust 2019
Japan
The Housekeeper and The ProfessorYoko OgawaJuly 2016
JapanAfter The BanquetYukio MishimaDec 2013
KenyaPetals of Blood Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
South KoreaPlease Look After Mom Shin Kyong-sook
South KoreaThe Vegetarian Hang Kang
NigeriaAmericanah Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieMay 2014
New ZealandThe LuminariesEleanor CattonJuly 2014
New ZealandThe Bone PeopleKeri HulmeApril 2014
Norway: The Blue Room The Blue RoomHanne Ørstavik Dec 2016
PakistanThe Reluctant Fundamentalist Mohsin Hamid Jan 2014
PakistanThe Holy Woman Qaisra ShahrazAug 2014
Republic of the CongoBroken GlassAlain Mabanckou
RwandaThe Barefoot WomanScholastique Mukasonga.
SomaliaNurradin Farah From a Crooked RibApril 2014
South AfricaCry the Beloved CountryAlan PatonApril 2011
South AfricaThe Whale CallerZakes Mda June 2018
Zimbabwe: We Need New Names We Need New NamesNoViolet BulawayoApril 2015

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