Read Around the World: Senegal to South Africa

By February 12, 2020 Discussion and Recommendations

We’re around three quarters of the way through our blog series now, storming through the world alphabetically as we read around the world, featuring a book from every country in the world. We’ll work alphabetically through all the countries in the world and add in some smaller countries and islands too, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe!

We’ll work alphabetically and the last list ended at Scotland, we’re starting this list at Senegal.

Join us on our literary world trip as we read around the world in more than 200 books.

Senegal

So Long a Letter – Mariama Ba

Set in Senegal So Long a Letter has been recognized as one of Africa’s 100 Best Books of the 20th Century. The brief narrative, written as an extended letter, is a sequence of reminiscences—some wistful, some bitter—recounted by recently widowed Senegalese schoolteacher Ramatoulaye Fall.

So Long a Letter

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Serbia

With Their Backs to the World – Asne Seierstad

From beloved international reporter Åsne Seierstad comes a remarkable exploration of the lives of ordinary Serbs under the regime of Slobodan Milosevic-during the dramatic events leading up to his fall, and finally in the troubled years that have followed.

With Their Backs to the World

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Seychelles

Where the Clocks Chime Twice – Alec Waugh

Part sentimental journey revisiting old well-loved scenes of former travels, and part search for new, out-of-the-way lands, Alec Waugh’s travel book tells of a journey half-way round the world. The chief object of these travels was to visit the Seychelles Islands. This remote British colony, lost in the immensity of the Indian Ocean, is a world forgotten by the world, a world in itself. Alec Waugh’s description of these tropical islands, their people and their history, ranks among the best of travel writing.

Where the Clocks Chime Twice

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Sierra Leone

A Long Way Gone – Ishmael Beah

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier is a memoir written by Ishmael Beah, an author from Sierra Leone. The book is a firsthand account of Beah’s time as a child soldier during the civil war in Sierra Leone.

A Long Way Gone

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Singapore

Breaking the Tongue – Vyvyane Loh

This brilliant novel chronicles the fall of Singapore to the Japanese in World War II. Central to the story is one Chinese family: Claude, raised to be more British than the British and ashamed of his own heritage; his father, Humphrey, whose Anglophilia blinds him to possible defeat and his wife’s dalliances; and the redoubtable Grandma Siok, whose sage advice falls on deaf ears.

Breaking the Tongue

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Slovakia

Zoli – Colum McCann

Zoli Novotna, a young woman raised in the traveling Gypsy tradition, is a poet by accident as much as desire. As 1930s fascism spreads over Czechoslovakia, Zoli and her grandfather flee to join a clan of fellow Romani harpists. Sharpened by the world of books, which is often frowned upon in the Romani tradition, Zoli becomes the poster girl for a brave new world.

Zoli

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Slovenia

Forbidden Bread – Erica Johnson Debeljak

Forbidden Bread is an unusual love story that covers great territory, both geographically and emotionally. The author leaves behind a successful career as an American financial analyst to pursue Ales Debeljak, a womanizing Slovenian poet who catches her attention at a cocktail party. The story begins in New York City, but quickly migrates, along with the author, to Slovenia.

Forbidden Bread

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Solomon Islands

Lonely Vigil – Walter Lord

The Solomon Islands was where the Allied war machine finally broke the Japanese empire. As pilots, marines, and sailors fought for supremacy in Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and the Slot, a lonely group of radio operators occupied the Solomon Islands’ highest points.

Lonely Vigil

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Somalia

From a Crooked Rib – Nuruddin Farah

Written with complete conviction from a woman’s point of view, Nuruddin Farah’s spare, shocking first novel savagely attacks the traditional values of his people yet is also a haunting celebration of the unbroken human spirit.

From a Crooked Rib

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South Africa

Cry, the Beloved Country – Alan Paton

Cry, the Beloved Country, is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son, Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice. Remarkable for its lyricism, unforgettable for character and incident, Cry, the Beloved Country is a classic work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man.

Cry, The Beloved Country

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We hope you’re enjoying this new blog series, we’ll be back with the next journey through literature in a few days, starting with Palau.

As the series continues, you can try this search to find the rest of the blogs in this series. Alternatively if you’re looking for a specific country so far we have covered:

Afghanistan to Aruba

Australia to Belize

Benin to British Virgin Islands

Brunei to Central African Republic

Chad to Cuba

Curaçao to Egypt

El Salvador to Finland

France to Greece

Grenada to Hungary

Iceland to Japan

Kazakhstan to Lesotho

Liberia to Malta

Marshall Islands to Mongolia

Montenegro to New Caledonia

New Zealand to Pakistan

Palau to Portugal

Qatar to Scotland



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