January 15, 2015 § 2 Comments
There’s been an idea percolating in my brain for a while. Why not read a contemporary book from every country round the world? Give it a deadline of a year, say, or maybe two. This totally unoriginal idea has evolved into something marginally less gimmicky: read a handful of books from each country (countries in strict alphabetical order, of course), with the timescale to be … as long as it takes. I still want to read plenty of everything else while I’m doing it. And other things might get involved too: non-fiction, films, restaurant visits: why not?
I haven’t quite decided what definition of “country” to use; most likely it will be the 193 member states of the UN. But whatever list I go with, Afghanistan is first. I’ve got four candidates so far, but none of them have always lived in Afghanistan, as far as I can tell. They are:
I definitely don’t want to read Khaled Hosseini, and in truth I’m a little concerned about the Hashimi. The cover alarms me. But it’s in my local library, so no harm done if I don’t like it.
It seems that only Atiq Rahimi originally wrote in Dari (and later in French); the others in English. Words Without Borders had a great Afghan literature issue back in 2011, but it’s hard to track down books by the featured authors.
Any other recommendations?