The Underground Railroad

“The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead (U.S.) Review “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead (U.S.) is set in the pre-Civil war era in the southern states of America and tells the story of a slave’s journey to freedom using the eponymous route. There were mixed reactions to this book with most readers liking it whereas…

The Woman Next Door

“The Woman Next Door” by Yewande Omotoso (South Africa) Review “The Woman Next Door” by Yewande Omotoso (South Africa) is set in modern-day Cape Town and is about the strained relationship between two elderly neighbours, one black and one white. Readers found this an easy story to get into, and to some extent it was…

A Fine Balance

“A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry (India) Synopsis Set in mid-1970s India, “A Fine Balance” tells the story of four unlikely people whose lives come together during a time of political turmoil soon after the government declares a ‘State of Internal Emergency.’ Through days of bleakness and hope, their circumstances – and their fates –…

No Man’s Land

“No Man’s Land” by Duong Thu Huong (Vietnam) Synopsis Set in a hamlet in the countryside of central Vietnam immediately following the end of the war in 1975, the novel’s plot is set in motion when a young woman, happily married to a successful farmer, comes home one day to find a throng of villagers…

Three Day Road

“Three Day Road” by Joseph Boyden (Canada) Synopsis It is 1919 and Niska, the last Canadian medicine woman to live off the land, has received word that one of the two boys she saw off to the Great War has returned. Xavier Bird, her sole living relative, is gravely wounded and addicted to the army’s…

One Hundred Years of Solitude

“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia) Synopsis Equally tragic, joyful and comical, “One Hundred Years of Solitude” inhabits a strange dream-like space where very little makes real sense, but everything is mysteriously and vividly alive nonetheless. Blending fantasy and reality seamlessly, the characters struggle hopelessly against a merciless backdrop of madness,…

Wizard of the Crow

“Wizard of the Crow” by Ngugi wa Thiong’o (Kenya) Synopsis In exile for more than twenty years, Ngugi wa Thiong’o has become one of the most widely read African writers of our time, the power and scope of his work garnering him international attention and praise. His aim in “Wizard of the Crow” is, in…

I Am A Cat

“I Am A Cat” by Soseki Natsume (Japan) Synopsis ‘I am a cat. As yet I have no name.’ So begins one of the most original and unforgettable works in Japanese literature. Richly allegorical and delightfully readable, “I Am A Cat” is the chronicle of an unloved, unwanted, wandering kitten who spends all his time…