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South Africa: “The Conservationist” by Nadine Gordimer

Conservationist

Mehring is not a particularly inviting main character. He stretches the definition of protagonist. While he is certainly the principal character of the story, he is not a hero. . . . → Read More: South Africa: “The Conservationist” by Nadine Gordimer

Dominica: “Wide Sargasso Sea” by Jean Rhys

Wide Sargasso Sea

The main themes of Jean Rhys’ “Wide Sargasso Sea” are familiar: racial conflict, gender conflict, and the failures of assimilating to a new homeland. . . . → Read More: Dominica: “Wide Sargasso Sea” by Jean Rhys

Romania: “Night” by Elie Wiesel

Night

Guilt. The central theme of Elie Wiesel’s gripping narrative of his own journey from rural Romania, across central Europe to Auschwitz-Birkenau, and beyond, is the crushing and inescapable guilt he felt and has carried with him ever since. . . . → Read More: Romania: “Night” by Elie Wiesel

Colombia: “Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Love in the Time of Cholera

Analysis by Ben and discussion of “Love in the Time of Cholera” are coming soon… . . . → Read More: Colombia: “Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Nigeria: “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart

Analysis by Hana and discussion of “Things Fall Apart” are coming soon… . . . → Read More: Nigeria: “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe

Norway: “Out Stealing Horses” by Per Petterson

Out Stealing Horses

Analysis by Carrie and discussion of “Out Stealing Horses” are coming soon… . . . → Read More: Norway: “Out Stealing Horses” by Per Petterson

Argentina: “The Motorcycle Diaries” by Ernesto “Che” Guevara

Motorcycle Diaries

According to his daughter Aleida Guevara, the 22-year old Che never intended for his diary chronicling the nine month journey through Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela with 29-year old friend Alberto Granado to be published. Instead, the young medical student set off to chronicle the trip for his own purposes. Guevara, a middle class educated Argentine who had already traveled to Europe and Asia as well as around parts of South America, sought a grand adventure in addition to some insight about the places and people that made up his native continent. . . . → Read More: Argentina: “The Motorcycle Diaries” by Ernesto “Che” Guevara

Guinea: “The Radiance of the King” by Camara Laye

Radiance of the King

The strong sense of outsidership in “The Radiance of the King” illustrates the clear influence of time spent abroad for author Camara Laye, assuming that Laye is properly credited with authorship. A controversy about whether Laye received extensive help — or even whether Laye was at all involved — in producing the novels attributed to them has received some attention in literary circles. Scholars have analyzed the writing of Laye’s two major books — including “The Radiance of the King” and found distinctly European phrasing and descriptions of parts of Africa and traditions Laye would not have been exposed to in his upbringing. . . . → Read More: Guinea: “The Radiance of the King” by Camara Laye

Peru: “Deep Rivers” by José María Arguedas

Deep Rivers

The protagonist in José María Arguedas’ “Deep Rivers” begins with the premise that the mountain town of Cusco, Peru is “the big city.” As an orphan raised by servants, 14-year old Ernesto is thrilled to be embarking on a journey of discovery with his vagabond father. As they journey to Cusco, through the country, and ultimately to the town of where Ernesto is placed in a Catholic boarding school, Ernesto watches his father in muted awe, soaking in the opportunity to watch as the stories he has heard seem poised to spring to life. . . . → Read More: Peru: “Deep Rivers” by José María Arguedas

Cuba: “The Lost Steps” by Alejo Carpentier

The Lost Steps

“The Lost Steps” is a 1953 novel by Cuban-born novelist and musicologist Alejo Carpentier. The story begins with a reluctant composer/academic in New York City who spends most of his time avoiding his stage-actress wife, gallavanting around with his mistress Mouche, and pondering everything but work. . . . → Read More: Cuba: “The Lost Steps” by Alejo Carpentier