The Moor’s Account: Laila Lalani

History is written by the victors, as the saying goes. What we know of the conquest—or the invasion—of the Americas tends to come from those who conquered the land. This book gives another perspective—the narrator, Mustafa ibn Muhammad ibn Abdussalam al-Zamori, is among the Spanish conquistadores, but not one of them. He is different, both …

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Indian women tell their stories

The Inner Courtyard: Stories by Indian Women, edited by Lakshmi HolmströmIn Other Words: New Writing by Indian Women, selected by Urvashi Butalia and Ritu Menon “Women in India have traditionally been teller of tales. They have used not only the mythic materials of the epics in their local versions, but the lives of gods and …

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10 Minutes, 38 Seconds in this Strange World: Elif Shafak

Tequila Leila, the prostitute, is dead. She has been murdered and her body dumped in a wheelie bin in Istanbul. She realizes “with a sinking feeling that her heart had just stopped beating, and her breathing had abruptly ceased, and whichever way she looked at her situation there was no denying that she was dead.” …

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The Last Will and Testament of Senhor da Silva Araújo: Germano Almeida

Translated from Portuguese by Sylvia Glaser “The reading of the last will and testament of Sr. Napumoceno da Silva Araújo ate up a whole afternoon. When he reached the one-hundred-and-fiftieth page, the notary admitted he was already tired…[H]e complained that the deceased, thinking he was drafting his will, had instead written down his memoirs.” Which …

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Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line: Deepa Anappara

When children start to go missing from a basti (slum) near Mumbai, three nine-year-olds from the basti decide to investigate. Jai watches crime shows on TV and fancies himself as Sherlock Holmes or Byomkesh Bakshi, a fictional Bengali detective. Pari is a bright girl, and although Jai designates her as his assistant, she tends to …

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Men without Women: Haruki Murakami

Translated from Japanese by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goosen “Here's what hurts the most," Kafuku said. "I didn't truly understand her—or at least some crucial part of her. And it may well end that way now that she's dead and gone. Like a small, locked safe lying at the bottom of the ocean. It hurts …

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The Shadow of the Wind: Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Translated from Spanish by Lucia Graves “This is a place of mystery, Daniel, a sanctuary. Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs …

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