Having grown up exclusively reading Western literature, I’ve decided that it is time for me to rectify my literary imbalance by exposing myself to what the entire world has to offer. So, this is it: a page dedicated to my quest of diversification, during which I hope to grow in ways previously unanticipated.
Below is a list of the 192 nations recognized by the United Nations (with the addition of Taiwan). This is the same list that Ann Morgan used during her year of ‘reading a book from every country of the world’. Although I’m certainly not planning on doing anything within a year, hopefully as the years pass I’ll be able to watch this list change and morph along with my understanding of our planet and the people in it.
How will this work?
- Whenever I read from a certain country, I’ll fill in the adjacent box with the title(s) of the book(s) read.
- The book can be fiction (e.g. novel, short stories) or non-fiction (e.g. memoir).
- The book can be in English or in the native language.
- I may have read more than what is listed, but you could say I’ve chosen to list out my favourites / those that have influenced me in some way.
- A book will be classified as being ‘from’ a certain country only when the following criteria are met:
- The subject matter of the book directly corresponds with said nation, its people, its culture, its history, etc;
- A significant portion of the book is set in said nation;
- The author is from said nation and / or was raised in said nation and/or has a strong personal connection to said nation.
- Obviously not all books will unequivocally fulfil all three, and in these circumstances I will exercise my own discretion.
|Albania||The Palace of Dreams (Ismail Kadare)|
|Angola||The General Theory of Oblivion (José Eduardo Agualusa)|
|Antigua and Barbuda|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Brazil||Dona Flor and her Two Husbands (Jorge Amado), Água Viva (Clarice Lispector)|
|Central African Republic|
|Colombia||Chronicle of a Death Foretold (Gabriel García Márquez)|
|Congo (Republic of the)|
|Czech Republic||The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Joke, Life is Elsewhere (Milan Kundera)|
|Democratic People’s Republic of Korea|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|Estonia||The Czar’s Madman (Jaan Kross)|
|Finland||Fair Play (Tove Jansson), White Hunger (Aki Ollikainen)|
|France||Madame Bovary (Gustave Flaubert), Thérèse Raquin (Émile Zola), The Outsider (Albert Camus), Around the World in Eighty Days (Jules Verne), The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Muriel Barbery), etc|
|Ghana||Ghana Must Go (Taiye Selasi)|
|Hungary||The White King (György Dragomán)|
|India||The Namesake, Interpreter of Maladies, Unaccustomed Earth (Jhumpa Lahiri)|
|Japan||Snow Country (Yasunari Kawabata), Dance, Dance, Dance, Sputnik Sweetheart, 1Q84 (Haruki Murakami), etc|
|Lao People’s Democratic Republic|
|Mexico||Como Agua Para Chocolate (Laura Esquivel)|
|Micronesia (Federated States of)|
|Nigeria||Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe), Half of a Yellow Sun, The Thing Around Your Neck, Americanah (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)|
|Papua New Guinea|
|Republic of Korea||Please Look After Mom (Kyung-sook Shin), The Vegetarian (Han Kang)|
|Republic of Moldova|
|Russian Federation||A Russian Affair (Anton Chekhov)|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines|
|Sao Tome and Principe|
|Spain||The Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafón)|
|Sri Lanka||Running in the Family (Michael Ondaatje)|
|Sweden||The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (Jonas Jonasson)|
|Thailand||Rice Without Rain (Minfong Ho)|
|Trinidad and Tobago|
|United Arab Emirates|
|United of Republic of Tanzania|
Taiwan (unfortunately out of the table until I figure out how to format things…)
Last updated: 1st January 2018