Reading the world, one country at a time

JISHOU, HUNAN — Now here’s an idea I wish I had had: choose a book from each of the world’s nations (plus a few extra locations), read it, and write a short review. That’s what Ann Morgan of the UK just finished doing. Since she is literate only in English, French and German, Morgan asked help from readers of her blog to find English translations. One contributor even wrote a book for her blog, to fulfill the mission. I wish I had that kind of time, to just sit and read. Color me green with envy. The Atlantic has an interview with Morgan, and here is a Public Radio International report. I was curious to see which books she read from countries I’ve lived in, or have an interest in. So, here’s what I found. From China, she read Banished!, by Han Dong, rather than a work by Nobel Prizewinner Yan Mo. Han’s novel is about the Tao family, who are forced to leave Nanjing during the Cultural Revolution. As for Yan, I’d recommend Red Sorghum, his first novel, which was also turned into a film. But I have to confess, I have only seen the movie version as yet. ...
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