A Geisha, a Manifesto and a Refugee

For my reading project, I read several books parallel, some of which are quite challenging. Yet, step by step, I’m working my way through. So far, I’ve read 53 books out of the 252 which are on my list, but who knows if this number isn’t going to change. I love the variety, and the discoveries I make are marvellous and sometimes scary.

51 Japan: Yasunari Kawabata – Snow Country

A big thank you to my former colleague, Michael Halloran, for recommending this novel to our book club a few years ago. Acutely observed, without a superfluous word, the book is great in its expression of the suffering of its protagonists.

52 Uruguay: Eduardo Galeano – Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent

While listening to this history of South American tragedy I kept asking myself why none of the Latin American countries has tried to take revenge on those who made them suffer over the centuries. I might disagree with Galeano’s appreciation of communism, but the book is a true eye-opener of what capitalism really means for people and nature. I wish there was an updated version for this century available. By the way, there’s an interesting article available on how the writer changed his position regarding this book.

53 Vietnam: Kim Thúy – Ru

This novel tells the story of Vietnamese refugees through the eyes of a child, mixing it with her adult experiences in Canada and back in Vietnam. I found it intriguing how the author explored what it means to live in a country and how your relationship with that country changes. A short book, but very much to the point.

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