Aruba?, Iran & Hongkong

Dear readers, I need your help. My quest to read a book from each country or dependent/contested territory continues. I’ve recently spent a few hours sourcing possible reads from all places starting with ‘A’, and I’ve been mostly successful. However, I couldn’t find any writer from Aruba (a Caribbean territory of the Netherlands). I’d very much appreciate if you could help me here – you can suggest a writer or a book (ideally in English or German translation) in the comments or tweet to @teacherkristina. That’d be absolutely fantastic!

60 Iran: Shahriar Mandanipour – Censoring an Iranian Love Story

What a compelling read! A love story, the issue of censorship and self-censorship, an introduction to Iranian literature and history, this book has it all – and so much more. You can read this work on many different levels (e.g. the semiotics of Kafka’s Trial both as a book and film and how it relates to Iranian books and films). I found it totally engrossing and am already looking forward to rereading it. Hopefully, more of this author will be translated soon.

61 Hongkong: Xu Xi – Access

As often the case with story collections, some you like and some you don’t. What I really appreciated was that fact that many of the characters were not some teenagers or people in their early 20s, but middle-aged or elderly people. Generally, I find people older than 40 or so woefully underrepresented as main characters. They usually are a detective with an alcohol problem or appear as an advisor and then die in the next chapter. So, this book made a notable and commendable difference.

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