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View Diary: A list of books (101 comments)

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    Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric. Think it won a  nobel prize way long ago. The Drina forms the border of Bosnia-Hezegovina, and the novel concerns the development over centuries of that area of the world. A professor in an Islamic art class I took in the late 70's suggested it, but I was very surprised that the book never saw a resurgence in the 80's during the Bosnian et al conflicts--I would read news and realize that similar scenes of massacre were being carried out in the same geographical locations.

    A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. India during the time of Indira Ghandi, especially during a particularly wretched period of "reform". The characters are so compelling it becomes almost impossible to accept their fates in the story. I'll go out on a limb and say I think this is second to War and Peace as far as novels about a variety of people caught up in social convulsions. (And as we all know War and Peace is the greatest.novel.ever.)

    St. Petersburg by Andrew Bieley. I'm starting to think I am the only person in the world who has read this book, but since it can be googled, I know I am not hallucinating. Darkly satirical, some absolutely hilarious scenes.

    Otherwise, Naguib Mafouz Cairo Trilogy is a very rich series of novels following one family in Cairo in the early 20th c., and I can pick up Toni Morrison's Beloved at will, and just read the last chapter and shiver.

    •  Biely (none)
      You're definitely not the only person to have read Petersburg.  It's obscure but very much appreciated, especially by those knowing anything of Russian lit, beyond Tolstoy and Dostoyevski.

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