Achebe, Chinua     
Things fall apart
First published in 1958, this novel tells the story of Okonkwo, the leader of an Igbo (Ibo) community who is banished for accidentally killing a clansman. The novel covers the seven years of his exile to his return, providing an inside view of the intrusion of white missionaries and colonial government into tribal Igbo society in the 1890s.


Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi     
Americanah : a novel
A young woman from Nigeria leaves behind her home and her first love to start a new life in America, only to find her dreams are not all she expected.


Coelho, Paulo     
The alchemist
An Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasures found within.


Coetzee, J M     
Disgrace
Fifty-two-year-old David Lurie, having lost his job and the respect of his friends and ex-wife after an affair with one of his students, retreats to his daughter's isolated small holding in South Africa where he attempts to relate to her and a society with new racial complexities.


Díaz, Junot     
The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao
Oscar, an overweight Dominican from a New Jersey ghetto, dreams of becoming a writer and finding love, but a Fuku curse has haunted his family for generations, and may well prevent him from attaining his desires.


Garcia Marquez, Gabriel     
One hundred years of solitude
The story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buenda family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad, and alive with unforgettable men and women--brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul--this novel is a masterpiece in the art of fiction.


Hosseini, Khaled     
The kite runner
The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant, "The Kite Runner" is a beautifully-crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons--their love, their sacrifices, their lies.


Kundera, Milan     
The unbearable lightness of being
Set in Czechoslovakia in the 1960s, this story revolves around a young doctor who has a way with women and an aversion to politics. He suddenly finds himself caught up in his country's political turmoil and in a crisis of commitment with the women in his life.


Martel, Yann     
Life of Pi : a novel
Possessing encyclopedia-like intelligence, unusual zookeeper's son Pi Patel sets sail for America, but when the ship sinks, he escapes on a life boat and is lost at sea with a dwindling number of animals until only he and a hungry Bengal tiger remain.


Matar, Hisham     
In the country of men
Nine-year-old Suleiman's normal childhood in Libya in 1979 begins to unravel when his best friend's father is arrested by government agents, his mother's drinking spirals out of control, and he spots his own father--who is supposedly away on business--wearing sunglasses in a busy marketplace.


Murakami, Haruki     
Kafka on the shore
The unlikely alliance between Kafka Tamura, a fifteen-year-old runaway, and the aging Nakata, a man who has never recovered from a wartime affliction, brings dramatic changes to both characters as they embark on a surreal odyssey through a strange, sometimes violent, sometimes fantastical world.


Rushdie, Salman     
Midnight's children : a novel
Saleem Sinai is born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the very moment of India's independence. Greeted by fireworks displays, cheering crowds, and Prime Minister Nehru himself, Saleem grows up to learn the ominous consequences of this coincidence. His every act is mirrored and magnified in events that sway the course of national affairs; his health and well-being are inextricably bound to those of his nation; his life is inseparable, at times indistinguishable, from the history of his country. Perhaps most remarkable are the telepathic powers linking him with India's 1,000 other "midnight's children," all born in that initial hour and endowed with magical gifts.


Satrapi, Marjane     
Persepolis
This graphic novel tells the story of Marjane Satrapi's life in Tehran from ages six to 14, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. Satrapi paints a portrait of daily life in Iran, and of the bewildering contradictions between home life & public life.


Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Isaevich     
One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich
One of the most chilling novels ever written about the oppression of totalitarian regimes--and the first to open Western eyes to the terrors of Stalin's prison camps, this book allowed Solzhenitsyn, who later became Russia's conscience in exile, to challenge the brutal might of the Soviet Union.


Tan, Amy     
The Joy Luck Club
In 1949 four Chinese women--drawn together by the shadow of their past--begin meeting in San Francisco to play mah jong, invest in stocks, eat dim sum, and "say" stories. They call their gathering the Joy Luck Club. Nearly forty years later, one of the members has died, and her daughter has come to take her place, only to learn of her mother's lifelong wish--and the tragic way in which it has come true. The revelation of this secret unleashes an urgent need among the women to reach back and remember.


Verghese, A     
Cutting for stone : a novel
Marion, fresh out of medical school, flees Ethiopia and makes his way to America, finding refuge in his work as an intern at an underfunded, overcrowded New York City hospital. When the past catches up to him--nearly destroying him--Marion must entrust his life to the two men he thought he trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him.


  Last updated May 2016