PotUS 45’s current travel restrictions, dubbed the ‘Muslim travel ban’ have been little out of the news all week as restrictions are put on all travellers, as opposed to those involved in criminality. If you’re outraged by this movement that has left both foreign travellers and Green Card holders stranded, then you may be looking to show some support, and as always we’re doing that in a bookish way, recommending authors from the Muslim ban countries.
We can’t change the world, but we can expand our perception of it, and so today we’re recommending a book from one author from each of the countries affected and it makes for an excellent reading list!
Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi
Persepolis is a graphic autobiography by Marjane Satrapi depicting her childhood up to her early adult years in Iran during and after the Islamic revolution. The title is a reference to the ancient capital of the Persian Empire, Persepolis. Originally published in French, it has been translated into several languages including English.
Marjane Satrapi was born in Rasht, Iran, and grew up in Tehran in a middle-class Iranian family. Today the author lives in France and has dual nationality to the two countries.
A Sky So Close – Betool Khedairi
This stunning debut novel from Betool Khedairi centres around a young girl, coming of age. Born to an Iraqi father and English mother, the narrator struggles with themes that are universal.
Betool Khedairi was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1965 to an Iraqi father and Scottish mother. Today she lives in Amman, Jordan.
Gold Dust – Ibrahim al Koni
Gold Dust is a classic story of the brotherhood between man and beast, the thread of companionship that is all the difference between life and death in the desert. It is a story of the fight to endure in a world of limitless and waterless wastes, and a parable of the struggle to survive in the most dangerous landscape of all: human society.
Ibrahim al-Koni was born in Libya in 1948. A Tuareg who writes in Arabic, he spent his childhood in the desert and learned to read and write Arabic when he was twelve.
Maps – Naruddin Farah
“Maps” is the first novel in his acclaimed Blood in the Sun trilogy, set in his native land. Askar lost his father in the bloody war between Ethiopia and Somalia, and his mother died giving birth to him. Taken in by Misra, a kindhearted woman, he grows up in a small village. But as an adolescent, a true child of his times, he begins to feel suffocated there and goes to live with his cosmopolitan aunt and uncle in the capital.
Nuruddin Farah was born in 1945 in Baidoa, Somalia. He is the author of numerous novels, novellas, short stories, and plays. His novels have been translated into many languages and have won numerous international awards. He now divides his time between Cape Town, South Africa and Annandale, New York.
The Kindness of Enemies – Leila Aboulela
The Kindness of Enemies is told from the perspective of Natasha Wilson, who knows how difficult it is to fit in. Born to a Russian mother and a Muslim father, she feels adrift in Scotland and longs for a place which really feels like home.
Leila Aboulela is the author of many novels and has collected many literary accolades, she grew up in Khartoum, Sudan and now lives in Aberdeen.
Syrian Stories – Gladys Matar
“Syrian Stories” is a compilation of intriguing short stories that tell about what is going on in the author’s society. It is not about the war in Syria, rather about the people who find themselves trapped in pain and joy together.
Born to Wade Matar, a pioneering architect and Leila Richo, an artistic home maker, Gladys Matar grew up in Latakia, the city with the distinction of being the most important port of Syria.
A Land Without Jasmine – Wajdi al-Adhal
A Land without Jasmine is a sexy, satirical detective story about the sudden disappearance of a young female student from Yemen’s Sanaa University. Each chapter is narrated by a different character beginning with Jasmine herself.
Wajdi al-Ahdal is a Yemeni novelist, short story writer and playwright. He was born near Bajil in the province of Al Hudaydah and studied at the University of Sanaa.
With special thanks to reading addict June Senghi who helped compile this list.
Uris was six years old when he was first recognised for his literary skills when he wrote an operetta inspired by the death of his dog. He would go on to write many bestselling works, based around major political and historic events. Today we’re going to recommend four books you may like to try. Read More
Last month we created a poll in our reading group The Cwts, and that poll has run all month giving you the chance to add your favourite read from the last thirty days. With July now over we have our top 20 for August and here it is, the readers’ choice top 20 for August.
Prior to his visit, Obama published a post on his official Facebook page where he wrote about his love for his ancestral home, and revealed what books he’s been reading in the build up to his trip. As you would expect, the books are from and about the continent of Africa and show what a diverse, historic, sometimes troubled, but also extraordinary continent it is. Not only has Obama recommended the books, but also provided a quick insight as to why he found them interesting. Read More
While a science fiction show, the series was very grounded in real issues such as race, sex, gender, and religion featuring a multi-national cast, various sexualities and a transgender character, played by a transgender actor (yay!).
I absolutely loved it, and I know much of the team did too and brilliant storylines aside, I loved the fact that Amanita, played by Freema Agyeman worked at the City Lights Bookstore, meaning it was featured in various episodes. And if you were hanging out for more bookstore references there was a second one with a mention for Shakespeare and Co in the finale too! Read More
As the New York Public Library reports, Martin has given us not one, but two lists of books he feels we should read, fantasy and general fiction, so there should be something for everyone here.
“I’m often asked what I’m reading, watching, and listening to, so I thought I might share a short list from time to time,” he wrote. There’s so much good writing and art and variety of thought out there these days that this is by no means comprehensive – like many of you, I’ll miss The Americans – but here’s what I’ve been reading lately. It’s admittedly a slightly heavier list than what I’ll be reading over the summer.” Read More