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Friday, 30 June 2017

Before Michelle, Barack Obama asked another woman to marry him. Then politics got in the way.

A massive new biography sheds light on the relationships, sacrifices and calculations that enabled the Obama presidency.

RISING STAR: The Making of Barack Obama

By David J. Garrow.

William Morrow. 1,460 pp. $45.

Of the books that journalists and historians have written on the life of Barack Obama, three stand out so far. In “Barack Obama: The Story,” David Maraniss shows us who Obama is. In “Reading Obama,” James T. Kloppenberg explains how Obama thinks. In “The Bridge,” David Remnick tells us what Obama means.

Now, in a probing new biography, “Rising Star,” David J. Garrow attempts to do all that, but also something more: He tells us how Obama lived, and explores the calculations he made in the decades leading up to his winning the presidency. Garrow portrays Obama as a man who ruthlessly compartmentalized his existence; who believed early on that he was fated for greatness; and who made emotional sacrifices in the pursuit of a goal that must have seemed unlikely to everyone but him. Every step — whether his foray into community organizing, Harvard Law School, even his choice of whom to love — was not just about living a life but about fulfilling a destiny.

It is in the personal realm that Garrow’s account is particularly revealing. He shares for the first time the story of a woman Obama lived with and loved in Chicago, in the years before he met Michelle, and whom he asked to marry him. Sheila Miyoshi Jager, now a professor at Oberlin College, is a recurring presence in “Rising Star,” and her pained, drawn-out relationship with Obama informs both his will to rise in politics and the trade-offs he deems necessary to do so. Garrow, who received a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Martin Luther King Jr., concludes this massive new work with a damning verdict on Obama’s determination: “While the crucible of self-creation had produced an ironclad will, the vessel was hollow at its core.”


***

By now the broad contours of the Obama story are well known, not least because Obama has repeated them so often. With Kansas and Kenya in his veins, he carries Indonesia in his memory, Hawaii in his smile, Harvard in his brain and, most of all, Chicago in his soul. “It wasn’t until I moved to Chicago and became a community organizer that I think I really grew into myself in terms of my identity,” he said in an interview about “Dreams From My Father,” his 1995 memoir. “I connected in a very direct way with the African American community in Chicago” and was able to “walk away with a sense of self-understanding and empowerment.”

Note how it was as much about Obama himself as any success he had in his organizing work. Inspired by Harold Washington, the city’s first black mayor, Obama began to discuss his political ambitions with a few colleagues and friends during his early time in the city. He wanted to be mayor of Chicago. Or a U.S. senator. Or governor of Illinois. Or perhaps he would enter the ministry. Or, as he confided to very few, including Jager, he would become president of the United States. Lofty stuff for a 20-something community organizer who struggled to write fiction on the side.


Jager, who in “Dreams From My Father” was virtually written out, compressed into a single character along with two prior Obama girlfriends, may have evoked something of Obama’s distant mother, Stanley Ann Dunham. Like Dunham, Jager studied anthropology, and while Dunham focused on Indonesia, Jager developed a deep expertise in the Korean Peninsula. She was of Dutch and Japanese ancestry, fitting the multicultural world Obama was only starting to leave behind. They were a natural pair. Jager soon came to realize, she told Garrow, that Obama had “a deep-seated need to be loved and admired.”

She describes their time together as an isolating experience, “an island unto ourselves” in which Obama would “compartmentalize his work and home life.” She did not meet Jeremiah Wright, the pastor with a growing influence on Obama, and they rarely saw his professional colleagues socially. The friends they saw were often graduate students at the University of Chicago, where Jager was pursuing her doctorate. They traveled together to meet her family, as well as his. Soon they began speaking of marriage.

“In the winter of ‘86, when we visited my parents, he asked me to marry him,” she told Garrow. Her parents were opposed, less for any racial reasons (Obama came across to them like “a white, middle-class kid,” a close family friend said) than out of concern about Obama’s professional prospects, and because her mother thought Jager, two years Obama’s junior, was too young. “Not yet,” Sheila told Barack. But they stayed together.


In early 1987, when Obama was 25, she sensed a change. “He became. . . so very ambitious” quite suddenly, she told Garrow. “I remember very clearly when this transformation happened, and I remember very specifically that by 1987, about a year into our relationship, he already had his sights on becoming president.”

The sense of destiny is not unusual among those who become president. (See Clinton, Bill.) But it created complications. Obama believed that he had a “calling,” Garrow writes, and in his case it was “coupled with a heightened awareness that to pursue it he had to fully identify as African American.”

Maraniss’s 2012 biography deftly describes Obama’s conscious evolution from a multicultural, internationalist self-perception toward a distinctly African American one, and Garrow puts this transition into an explicitly political context. For black politicians in Chicago, he writes, a non-African-American spouse could be a liability. He cites the example of Richard H. Newhouse Jr., a legendary African American state senator in Illinois, who was married to a white woman and endured whispers that he “talks black but sleeps white.” And Carol Moseley Braun, who during the 1990s served Illinois as the first female African American U.S. senator and whose ex-husband was white, admitted that “an interracial marriage really restricts your political options.”

Discussions of race and politics suddenly overwhelmed Sheila and Barack’s relationship. “The marriage discussions dragged on and on,” but now they were clouded by Obama’s “torment over this central issue of his life . . . race and identity,” Jager recalls. The “resolution of his black identity was directly linked to his decision to pursue a political career,” she said.


In Garrow’s telling, Obama made emotional judgments on political grounds. A close mutual friend of the couple recalls Obama explaining that “the lines are very clearly drawn. . . . If I am going out with a white woman, I have no standing here.” And friends remember an awkward gathering at a summer house, where Obama and Jager engaged in a loud, messy fight on the subject for an entire afternoon. (“That’s wrong! That’s wrong! That’s not a reason,” they heard Jager yell from their guest room, their arguments punctuated by bouts of makeup sex.) Obama cared for her, Garrow writes, “yet he felt trapped between the woman he loved and the destiny he knew was his.”

Just days before he would depart for Harvard Law School — and when the relationship was already coming apart — Obama asked her to come with him and get married, “mostly, I think, out of a sense of desperation over our eventual parting and not in any real faith in our future,” Sheila explained to Garrow. At the time, she was heading to Seoul for dissertation research, and she resented his assumption she would automatically postpone her career for his. More arguments ensued, and each went their way, although not for good.

***

At Harvard, the Obama the world has come to know took clearer form. In his late 20s now and slightly older than most classmates, he had a compulsion to orate in class and summarize other people’s arguments for them. “In law school the only thing I would have voted for Obama to do would have been to shut up,” one student told Garrow. Classmates created a Obamanometer, ranking “how pretentious someone’s remarks are in class.”

Such complaints aside, he was generally admired, including by his professors, one of whom wrote a final exam question around comments Obama had made in class. And his election to the presidency of the Harvard Law Review, the first time for an African American, signaled the respect the school’s elite students had for him — even if some liberal classmates later regretted their choice, finding Obama too conciliatory toward conservatives in their midst. Garrow re-creates the drama around the election, with Law Review colleagues debating the candidates’ legal acumen and leadership skills, as well as the possible history-making aspect of the selection. It is an unexpectedly riveting part of the book. The black editors on the staff began “crying and running and hugging” when the final choice was made — and with the national news coverage that followed, Obama’s star was on the rise.

Law school also provided Obama one of his most important intellectual interlocutors: classmate and economist Rob Fisher. They took multiple classes together and co-wrote a never-published book on public policy, titled “Transformative Politics” or “Promises of Democracy: Hopeful Critiques of American Ideology.” The manuscript explored the political failures of the left and right and expounded on markets, race and democratic dialogue, showing glimmers of the political philosophy and rhetoric that Obama would come to embrace. A few years later, Fisher helped Obama rethink “Dreams From My Father” (originally titled “Journeys in Black and White”), making it less a policy book and more a personal one.

Obama met Michelle Robinson at the Chicago law firm where she worked — and where he was a summer associate — after his first year of law school, and the couple quickly became serious. However, Jager, who soon arrived at Harvard on a teaching fellowship, was not entirely out of his life.

“Barack and Sheila had continued to see each other irregularly throughout the 1990-91 academic year, notwithstanding the deepening of Barack’s relationship with Michelle Robinson,” Garrow writes. (“I always felt bad about it,” Jager told the author more than two decades later. Once Barack and Michelle were married, his personal ties to Sheila were reduced to the occasional letter (such as after the 9/11 attacks) and phone call (when he reached out to ask whether a biographer had contacted her).

If Garrow is correct in concluding that Obama’s romantic choices were influenced by his political ambitions, it is no small irony that Michelle Obama became one of those most skeptical about his political prospects, and most dubious about his will to rise. She constantly discouraged his efforts toward elective office and resented the time he spent away from her and their two young daughters. Barack vented to a friend how often Michelle would talk about money. “Why don’t you go out and get a good job? You’re a lawyer — you can make all the money we need,” she would tell him, as the couple struggled with student loans and the demands of family and political life. (Garrow sides with Michelle, highlighting how, on the day after Sasha was born, Barack went downtown for a meeting.)

As he considered a U.S. Senate bid, Obama’s team commissioned a poll that covered, among other questions, his name. “Barry,” as he was known from childhood into his early college years, polled better than “Barack,” but Obama never considered resurrecting the old name. He had made his choice, of identity and image, long ago. Jager recalls that one of the few times Obama became genuinely angry with her was in Hawaii, when she heard relatives calling him Barry, and she did so as well, just for fun. He became “irrationally furious,” she said. “He told me that under no circumstances was I ever to use that name with him.”

There was no going back.

***

“Rising Star” is exhaustive, but only occasionally exhausting. Garrow zooms his lens out far, for instance when he recounts the evisceration of Chicago’s steel industry in the early 1980s, providing useful context for Obama’s subsequent work. And he goes deliciously small-bore, too, delving into the culture of the Illinois statehouse, where poker was intense and infidelity was rampant. “There’s a lot of people who f—ed in Springfield,” a female lobbyist tells Garrow. “What else is there to do?” Obama, however, did not. “Michelle would kick my butt,” he told a colleague there. At times Garrow delivers information simply because he has it; I did not need a detailed readout of all of Obama’s course evaluations from his years teaching at the University of Chicago Law School. (Turns out his students liked him.)

The book’s title seems chosen with a sense of irony. Garrow shows how media organizations invariably described Obama as a “rising star,” in almost self-fulfilling fashion. Yet, after nine years of research and reporting, Garrow does not appear too impressed by his subject, even if he recognizes Obama’s historical importance.

The author is harsh but persuasive in his reading of “Dreams From My Father,” for instance, calling it not a memoir but a work of “historical fiction,” in which the “most important composite character was the narrator himself.” (Reviewers were impressed by it, but few who knew Obama well seemed to recognize the man in its pages.) He points out that Obama’s cocaine use extended into his post-college years, longer than he had acknowledged. And he suggests Obama deployed religion for political purposes; while campaigning for the U.S. Senate, Garrow notes, Obama began toting around a Bible and exhibited “a greater religious faith than close acquaintances had ever previously sensed.”

Throughout the book, Obama displays an almost petulant dissatisfaction with each step he takes to reach the Oval Office. Community organizing is not ambitious enough, he decides, so he goes to law school. But then he moves into politics because “I saw the law as being inadequate to the task” of achieving social change, Obama explains. In Springfield, he is again disillusioned by “the realization that politics is a business . . . an activity that’s designed to advance one’s career, accumulate resources and help one’s friends,” as “opposed to a mission.”And  upon reaching the U.S. Senate, he tells National Journal that he is “surprised by the lack of deliberation in the world’s greatest deliberative body.” Nothing measures up.

“Rising Star” concludes with Obama announcing his presidential campaign, and Garrow speeds through his presidency in a clunky and tacky epilogue, in which he recaps the growing media disenchantment with Obama and goes out of his way to cite unfavorable reviews of earlier biographies. (Come on, David. Other books can be good.) In his  acknowledgments, Garrow says Obama granted him eight hours of off-the-record conversations and even read the bulk of the manuscript. “His understandable remaining disagreements — some strong indeed — with multiple characterizations and interpretations contained herein do not lessen my deep thankfulness for his appreciation of the scholarly seriousness with which I have pursued this project,” Garrow writes.

That is Obama now: a scholarly project, a figure of history. After the eight years of his presidency, it is odd to consider him in the past tense. Yes, he remains a public figure, as the mini-controversy over his speaking fees shows, and he is not going away, certainly not with a post-presidential memoir still coming. But now he is fighting for history and legacy, and one of those battles is against another figure whose ascent is even more bizarre, yet perhaps no less personally preordained.

Obama had considered Donald Trump long before either man won the presidency, and brushed off his existence as a misguided national fantasy. Americans have a “continuing normative commitment to the ideals of individual freedom and mobility,” Obama wrote in the old Harvard book manuscript, now more than 25 years old. “The depth of this commitment may be summarily dismissed as the unfounded optimism of the average American — I may not be Donald Trump now, but just you wait; if I don’t make it, my children will.”

(Source: WP)

A feminist reading of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017)

After 2 years, finally, we get to know the answer to one of the biggest cliffhangers in the history of Indian cinema; Why did Kattappa kill Baahubali?

Disclaimer: This review contains spoilers.

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017)

Cast: Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, Rana Daggubati, Ramya Krishnan, Sathyaraj, Nasser, Tamannaah

Director: S. S Rajamouli



The magnum opus Baahubali: The Conclusion released this year, with extravagant costumes, exemplary art direction, astounding visual effects and performances. When I went to watch the second part, I expected the same phallocentric and problematic depiction of romance and women being sidelined as they were in the first film. The three important women; Devasena (Anushka Shetty), Sivagami (Ramya Krishnan) and Avantika (Tamannah Bhatia) are strong and determined but they are overshadowed as all the focus is laid on the sibling rivalry and hypermasculinity.

Hypermasculinity is a concept which dominates films thereby subjugating women in films, not just because they’re weaker but due to the social notion that women are meant to be controlled and tamed. Not only is hypermasculinity harmful but it also glorifies violence, and most importantly, it glorifies violence based on caste hierarchies.

We have seen it in Baahubali: The Beginning when Sivudu (Prabhas) stalked and molested Avantika. In terms of exaggerated content, the second film is no less than the first. From Amarendra showing off his “chopping” and archery skills (indirectly) in front of Devasena, to Bijjaladeva (Nasser) punching off a large chunk from a concrete pillar to show that he has “iron fist“. The notion upheld in this film is men who fight and destroy walls like iron are real men.

In that sense, Baahubali :The Conclusion has more over-the-top action sequences that could make you facepalm. Amarendra Baahubali can run as fast as a cheetah, as shown in the initial battle sequences and, Sivudu and Bhalladeva (Rana Daggubati), during a tussle, destroyed a large golden statue by slamming each other’s bodies on the base, and hence cracking it! Baahubali is symbolically shown as demigod or avatar of Lord Vishnu. It was quite clear that the director S.S Rajamouli was targeting the male audience and the contents are created to generate maximum applause.

The movie is entertaining, however it has a wide prospect of analysis, especially from the angle of caste and feminism. Baahubali: The Conslusion, despite having a hero who shares a meal with Kattappa, who is referred to as “Nayya” (dog) several times by the likes of Bijjaladeva and Bhallaladeva, painfully glorifies the caste hierarchy on the basis of lifestyle and skin colour. The Indian film industry, over the years has reiterated caste hierarchy with the likes of “Kapoors” and “Nairs” taking up the spotlight.

Baahubali features fair skinned actors in lead roles. The concept is so heavily embedded in the film that it even has an infamous scene, where Sivudu while molesting Avantika, drags her below the waterfall till she becomes “fair enough”. It is such actions which are etched in the minds of individuals which makes the Indian society obsessed with fairness. Kalakeya and his army are symbolised as the non civilised section and they have “dark” skin. The caste hierarchy reflected in the film is itself based on skin colour where Savarnna is described as “good caste” while Dalits as “lower caste”.

Savarnna caste structure of the Mahishmathi Kingdom constantly remind us of the caste hierarchy with “Kshatriya” dharma in most of the dialogues and slaves being labelled as dogs. It is highlighted even more in Anand Neelankantan novel “Rise of Sivagami”, the prequel to the Baahubali films. The book describes a society where low caste men are unfairly punished and beaten while women are treated as sex slaves. Although being a “Kshatriya”, insinuates being brave and daring in the face of adversity, yet amongst other things it enhances the concept of hypermasculinity in itself.

Kattappa has much better skills but he barely gets the laud he deserves because he is limited to the status of a slave. He has to obey everything the King or Rajyamatha commands, even if it’s against his will because the code of the kingdom includes the necessity of the slaves to follow the King. Slavery is Katappa’s dharma which makes him seem less of a human being and more of a tool to be used by the upper caste for their benefit.

Devasena, despite her courage and audacity, shames the newly chosen commander-in-chief by calling him “Naya” and taunts Sivagami’s silence by saying that it is against her “Kshatriya” dharma. This paticular scene generated a lot of applause from the audience. While the audience focused on Devasena’s courage, the director seemed to have targeted the right crowd- the savarnna, upper caste crowd.

Rajamouli’s comments expressed his casteist point of view when he commented that the Manusmriti believes caste is based on lifestyle and called Dalits “parasites” who depend on others. The Manusmriti expresses that women should be controlled and should be protected by and be dependent on three men in her life; Father, Husband and Son. So going by that logic women are also parasites and hence not worthy of being lauded as expressed through different scenarios within the movie.

Baahubali: The Beginning shows Avantika, a fierce warrior with an aim. But she is molested by Sivudu in order to transform her into being “feminine”. From the perspective of the male audience, a woman’s femininity resides in the clothes she wears, her skin colour and the number of shots of her body. Rajamouli himself explained that the intention of the scene is to portray her femininity.

Personally, I didn’t find Avantika’s warrior image any less feminine, probably different from a woman wearing a saree, but not less feminine. What’s worse is that she gradually falls for him and what’s even worse is that her ambition is averted from her by Sivudu. This is a clear reflection of what happens to most women in our society at some stage in their lives.

THE NOTION UPHELD IN THIS FILM IS MEN WHO FIGHT AND DESTROY WALLS LIKE IRON ARE REAL MEN.

What I had hoped to be redeemed in this film is the fact that society mostly believes that a man’s job cannot be trusted upon women, even women with determination and skills, because women are the weaker sex. Avantika’s character didn’t receive the redemption that she deserved. She was reduced to an extra who just pops up at times with a sword and has no dialogues. I had hoped that she would be portrayed doing something important, something intelligent or tactful which men were shown to be doing.

It was quite evident that Kattappa (Sathyaraj) was narrating Amarendra Baahubali’s words while narrating his and Devsena’s story; “A man who lays his hands on a woman without her consent deserve to have his head chopped off”. Kattappa also asks Sivudu to be like his father. Thus, I hoped that there might be a scene where Sivudu apologises to Avantika for misbehaving with her. But my hopes were quite high, given that we don’t really get to see men apologising to women but women do it multiple times thereby provoking their temper.

Despite all this, there are pro-feminist elements in the film, which are worth mentioning.


Sivagami is the most powerful character. Her word is the law and men follow what she says. She earned that power with her intelligence and charisma. She has the final word in terms of choosing the king and the first film depicts her fighting men who tried to take over the throne and later she occupies her space as the “Rajya Matha” (mother of the state) and breastfeeds both Bhalladeva and Baahubali. No one would question her and she silences “angry men” with just a look, even her treacherous son Bhalladeva.

Sivagami is like the de jure head, someone who has the power but is actually manipulated by patriarchy; by her husband and son, and hence follows their ideas and ideologies. She makes many mistakes but finally, when she realises her mistakes, she tries to redeem them, thereby leading to the iconic scene where she holds Baahubali’s son above the water to save him.

On the scale of justice and righteousness, both Sivagami and Devasena are fighters. Sivagami is a woman who stood up for the kingdom and while Devasena stood up for herself.

AVANTIKA IS MOLESTED BY SIVUDU IN ORDER TO MAKE HER MORE “FEMININE”.

Had Bhalladeva not existed then we would have seen Sivagami living a happy life with Baahubali and Devasena. Bhalladeva himself was not a bad person initially. But since the beginning his over-ambitious father had been influencing him, leading to jealousy, which lead to his hatred towards his cousin Baahubali. His lust towards Devasena triggered his determination to win over the throne. That’s where things began to fall apart.


Devasena, on the other hand, has moments of her own. She takes over the film with her charisma. Almost every scene with Devasena brings up a feminist argument. The introduction scene of Devasena is similar to Avantika’s. She and her followers are attacked by many armed men. But, she fights them all back bravely. Avantika is painfully objectified when Sivudu molests her, but Devasena’s navel is never important. She is beautiful and graceful. She is feminine but not docile. She is caring but at the same time powerful as she protects her people from being attacked.

Bhalladeva lusts after Devasena and he, after manipulating Sivagami, sends a proposal to Devasena in the form of wealth and sweets. Devasena turns him down, as mere wealth cannot win her heart, there is more to her than wealth.

Devasena remarks on Bhalladeva’s absence during his proposal of marriage to her, “Dress him with the ornaments you send me and get him married to the sword. We will look after him.” This is the scene I completely despise. Why does a feminine warrior who wears jewellery while fighting bandits has to use femininity itself as an insult for a man? Does this not insult womanhood more than a man’s masculinity? When will filmmakers and society at large understand that femininity is not an insult.

BOTH SIVAGAMI AND DEVASENA ARE FIGHTERS. SIVAGAMI STOOD UP FOR THE KINGDOM AND WHILE DEVASENA STOOD UP FOR HERSELF.

However, I loved how Devasena was shown as a woman with integrity. She stood her ground and fought back an army of men who tried to attack her. Unlike Sivudu rescuing Avantika, Amarendra teaches Devasena how to shoot three arrows at once and the fight which follows is well choreographed.

The scene where Sivagami says “I gave Bhalla my word to get Devasena married to him”, has Devasena snapping back at her saying that, as an individual she can take her own decisions and Sivagami has no authority to dictate her decision making. She does not let injustice prosper and she is quite capable of defending herself as shown when she attacks the commander-in-chief for falsely framing her.

The movie shows Sivagami and Devasena’s relationship as a typical “saas-bahu” relationship. In general context, the bahus who stand up for themselves and talk back are vilified. But Devasena earns the audience’s respect with her agility.

Saas-bahu situations are usually stereotyped as “A woman is another woman’s worst enemy“. However, in this film, we know it is the result of Bhalladeva’s manipulation and the role of men in terms of pitting women against each other. Amarendra understands this and he goes against his mother to support his wife. He considers supporting his wife his duty and moreover calls out his mother’s lack of understanding along with Bhalladeva’s sadistic lust.

WHEN WILL FILMMAKERS AND SOCIETY AT LARGE UNDERSTAND THAT FEMININITY IS NOT AN INSULT.

Indian men could learn a thing or two from Amarendra, as men tend to follow their mothers over their wives, in situations where the mother is wrong, because of which women face injustice in her marital house. Despite the depiction of hypermasculinity, Amarendra is portrayed as a caring and compassionate individual. He looks after Sivgami when she is not well and nurses her back to health. His love and care for Devasena is another plus point. In the proposal scene he says, “No matter what happens, I am yours” proving his loyalty to her as opposed to “You are mine” and thereby considering loyalty as the woman’s duty alone.

Amarendra’s compassion and not only his ability to lift trees, earns him popularity amongst the audience. The climax involves a lot of destruction of infrastructure, “flying”, gimmicks and exaggerated fight scenes. But during all this, Sivudu steps aside so as to allow Devasena to have her share of vengeance as a price for the the twenty five years she spent in captivity. Devasena’s expression when she performs the “agnipariksha” will haunt you for some time.

Strong women might be sidelined but their actions and words remain impactful. Baahubali: The Conclusion, therefore, shows radical women of a certain time period and the price they were made to pay for hurting the masculine ego. At the end, justice prevails.

(Source: Feminism in India)

Karachi teen on a mission to read a book from every country in the world

Aisha Esbhani is a 13-year-old on a mission, and what a mission indeed! About a year ago, Eshbani, a Karachi-based barely-teenager, realised that most of the books in her bookshelf were written by European and American authors, and she noticed a lack of writers from African and Asian countries. It got her thinking, and she ended up setting herself a unique challenge: to read a book or story from every country in the world.

She started a Facebook page (@reading197countries) asking for help from people all over the world in discovering books, stories and authors from different countries, and the top post on her page is a pretty amazing resource for everybody: it’s a list of all the countries paired with the books and stories she’s reading from them. She also often posts her own reviews of the books she’s reading, and you suddenly remember again how young she is when you see a post from April 22nd apologising for the lack of reviews recently because she’s been busy studying for her exams.

People from all over the world, including readers, writers and the President of Nigeria, have been helping her with recommendations, all listed in the fascinating post below:


Will You Be Willing to Provide Me A Helping Hand?
Hi,
I am Aisha Arif Esbhani, a 13 year old based in Karachi, Pakistan.

After discovering that most of the books I read as a preschooler, as an adolescent, were by a British or North American author, I wanted to explore the writers of the African continent and the tiny islands in Asia. I wanted to explore the nations of which I had never read any books. I wanted to explore stories that had been translated into English. 

 And so, in April 2016, I set myself on a quest of reading one novel/short story collection or memoir from every single country of the world. The author has to be a native of the country. I created a Facebook page and had received numerous recommendations and suggestions on it. Unfortunately, due to my age, Facebook deleted my account and my page has vanished. I had completed 43 countries, and my project has been mentioned on the Dawn Newspaper and Words Without Borders Campus Site. Other Facebook pages like Literature Across Frontiers had mentioned my page too.
In October, Former President of Nigeria, GoodLuck Ebele Jonathan sent me a message. He told me of some great Nigerian authors and proved to me that great individuals around the world are taking interest in my quest and are wiling to help me. 

Karlis Verdins had provided me with his story "Come to Me" from Latvia and Robi Gottlieb from Luxembourg had couriered me his book, "Minute Stories." 

But I still require your help and assistance. I am following the UN recognized nations (+ Scotland, Taiwan and Palestine) and have posted my list of countries along with the books I have already been recommended on this post below. For some countries, I have received no recommendations, it would be great if you could help me with those, and for others, I would love to see a few more books. 
Let's have a fun time together, I would love to see my notifications flooding because of the amount of comments and suggestions. Do let your family and friends know about my project It would be very encouraging and I would really appreciate it. 

(P.S: Thankfully, I had saved all my book reviews before the page got deleted. I will be posting them one by one and would also be pleased to hear your comments on the book, thank you.)
Thank you to my parents and brother for their constant support. 

And thank you to Pam Gizzaro, a fellow literary explorer, for always motivating me through her comments and messages. I would also like to extend my gratitude to all those people on my page who kept encouraging me, I hope they can trace me and eventually reach this blog.
Thank you,
Aisha

Here is my list:
• Afghanistan 🇦🇫 : The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, And The Mountain Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
• Albania 🇦🇱 : The Palace of Dreams, General of The Dead Army
• Algeria 🇩🇿 : Flickering Shadows, The Stranger by Albert Camus, One Hundred Twenty-One Days by Michèle Audin
• Andorra 🇦🇩 : The Teacher of Cheops by Albert Salvado
• Angola 🇦🇴 : The Return of the Water Spirits, A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa
• Antigua and Barbuda 🇦🇬 : A Small Place*
• Argentina 🇦🇷 : The Aleph and Other Stories by Jorge Luis Borges, The Tango Singer by Tomas Eloy Martinez, The Island of Last Truth by Flavia Company
• Armenia 🇦🇲 :
• Australia 🇦🇺 : The Book Thief, Cloudstreet, I can Jump Puddles, Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody, Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Parks, Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden, Follow the Rabbit-Proof , The Harp in the South trilogy by Ruth Park: 1) Missus, 2) The Harp in the South, and 3) Poor Man's Orange, Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta, The Camel who Crossed Australia by Jackie French, : A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley, The Green Wind/ The Wind Is Silver by Thurley Fowler, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
• Austria 🇦🇹 : Chess Story, The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek, The Weight of Things by Marianne Fritz, A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler
• Azerbaijan 🇦🇿 : Ali and Nino, All Russian Love Birch Trees by Olga Grjasnowa
• Bahamas 🇧🇸 : Thine is the Kingdom, Life on a Rock by K. Alison Albury , Do No Harm by Cliff Bacchus M.D , Biblical Journeys / What Does the Bible Say About... by Velyn Cooper, Vessel Of The Light by Shawn T. Gardiner, Who Let The Dog Out? by Carole Hughes, Islands of the Sun by John Thompson
• Bahrain 🇧🇭 : Quixotiq by Ali Al Saeed
• Bangladesh 🇧🇩 : The Good Muslim by Tahmina Anam, A Golden Age by Tahmina Anam
• Barbados 🇧🇧 : Karen Lord's Redemption in Indigo, In the Castle of My Skin: By George Lamming, Tropical Holiday, author: Donna Every
• Belarus 🇧🇾 : Second Hand Time by 
Svetlana Alexievich
• Belgium 🇧🇪 : The Adventure of TinTin, Pétronille, Amélie Nothomb, War and Turpentine by Stefan Hertmans
• Belize 🇧🇿 : Beka Lamb by Zee Edgell*, On Heroes, Lizards and Passion by Zoila Ellis or Sinner's Bassanova by Glenn Godfrey.
• Benin 🇧🇯 : Autobiography of the Lower East Side by Rashidah Ismaili Abubakr
• Bhutan 🇧🇹 : The Circle of Karma, The Stray Dog in Bhutan by Kunzang Choden
• Bolivia 🇧🇴 :
• Bosnia and Herzegovina 🇧🇦 : The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric, Miloš Crnjanski: Migrations, From Enemy Territory by Mladen Vuksanović
• Botswana 🇧🇼 : The Full Cupboard of Life, Twenty Chickens for a Saddle by Robyn
• Brazil 🇧🇷 : East of the West, A country in Series, The Alchemist, Like a Flowing River, Aleph, Brida, The Hour of the Star, Author: Clarice Lispector Gabriela, Clove and Cinammon/ Tieta by Jorge Amado
• Brunei 🇧🇳 : The Wild Men of the East by Selamat Munap, Crosswise the Boulevard: An Extraordinary Love Saga by M. Faisal, Four Kings by Christopher Sun, The Forlorn Adventure by Amir Falique, Written in Black by KH Lim, The Last Bastion of Ingei by Aammton Alias
• Bulgaria 🇧🇬 : Everything Happens As It Does by Albena Stambolova, Streets without a Name by Kapka Kassabova, The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov
• Burkina Faso 🇧🇫 : The Parachute Drop by Norbert Zongo
• Burundi 🇧🇮 : Baho! by Roland Rugero
• Cabo Verde: The Last Will and Testament of Senhor da Silva Araujo
• Cambodia 🇰🇭 : In the Shadow of the Banyan
• Cameroon 🇨🇲 : White Man of God by Kenjo wan Jumbam.
• Canada 🇨🇦 : Shooting Waters, Brian Doyle: Hey, Dad!, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, We Are Made of Molecules , Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese, Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery, 419 by Will Ferguson, A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews, A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, A Season in the Life of Emmanuel by Marie-Claire Blais trans. Derek Coltman, A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali by Gil Courtemanche trans. Patricia Claxton, A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki ,Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood, Annabel by Kathleen Winter, Away by Jane Urquhart, Barney's Version by Mordecai Richler, Bear by Marian Engel, Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen, Bone and Bread by Saleema Nawaz, Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart, Cereus Blooms at Night by Shani Mootoo, Certainty by Madeleine Thien, Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant, Creation by Katherine Govier, Crow Lake by Mary Lawson, De Niro's Game by Rawi Hage, Elizabeth and After by Matt Cohen, Essex County by Jeff Lemire, Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie, macdonald February by Lisa Moore, Fifth Business by Robertson Davies,Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
• Central African Republic 🇨🇫:
• Chad 🇹🇩: In chad under the stars by Joseph Brahim Seid, Told by Starlight in Chad*
• Chile 🇨🇱 : Death and the Maiden, Seeing Red by Lina Meruane, The House of The Spirits/ Forest of the Pygmies by Isabel Allende, 2666 by Roberto Bolaño
• China 🇨🇳 : Chinese Cinderella, Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang, Crystal Wedding by Xu Xiaobin, French Concession by Xiao Bai, Little Aunt Crane by Yan Geling, The Last Lover by Can Xue
• Colombia 🇨🇴 : Collected stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Sound of Things Falling/ Reputations by Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Oblivion by Héctor Abad Faciolince
• Comoros 🇰🇲: The Kafir of Karthala by Mohammad Toihiri
• Democratic Republic of CONGO Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila
• Congo, Republic of: Alain Mabanckou - Tomorrow I'll Be Twenty/ Lights of Pointe-Noire
• Costa Rica 🇨🇷: Cocori by Joaquin Gutierrez, Candence of the Moon by Óscar Núñez Olivas*
• Côte d'Ivoire 🇨🇮: Véronique Tadjo - The Blind Kingdom*
• Croatia 🇭🇷 : Girl at war by Sara Novic, Europe in Sepia by Dubravka Ugresic
• Cuba 🇨🇺 : Afro Cuban Tales by Lydia Cabrera, The Kingdom of This World*/Explosion in a Cathedral by Alejo Carpentier, Alma Flor Ada: My Name is María Isabel
• Cyprus 🇨🇾: Ledra Street by Nora Nadjarian
• Czech Republic 🇨🇿 : A Kingdom of Souls by Daniela Hondrová, Aaron's Leap by Magdaléna Platzová, B. Proudew by Irena Dousková, Freshta by Petra Procházková, Innocence; or murder on Steep Street by Heda Margolius Kovaly, Stomach of the Soul by Sylva Fischerová, The Attempt by Magdaléna Platzová, Peter Sís: The Wall: Growing up Behind the Iron Curtain, The Trial by Franz Kafka
• Denmark 🇩🇰 : The Seducer's Diary, One of Us is Sleeping by Josefine Klougart, So Much for that winter by Dorthe Nors
• Djibouti 🇩🇯: Passage of Tears by Abdourahman Waberi
• Dominica 🇩🇲: Most Wanted by Christborne Shillingford, The Orchid House by Phyllis Shand Allfrey*
• Dominican Republic 🇩🇴 : The Brief Wondorous life of Oscor Wao/ This Is How You Lose Her/ Drown* by Junot Diaz, In The Time of the Butterflies by Julia Avrez
• Ecuador 🇪🇨: "To the Coast" by Luis Alfredo Martínez, The Villagers by Jorge Icaza
• East Timor: The Crossing by Luis Cardoso
• Egypt 🇪🇬 : Cairo, My Country, Our Revolution, Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery by Baha Taher, Brooklyn Heights by Miral al-Tahawy, Spectres by Radwa Ashour, The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz, The Woman from Tantoura: A Palestinian Novel by Radwa Ashour, Utopia by Ahmed Khaled Tawfek, The Cairo Trilogy of Naguib Mehfuz, Distant View of a Minaret by Alifa Rifaat, The Memory of Love/ Ancestor Stones/The Devil that Danced on the Water by Aminatta Forna
• El Salvador 🇸🇻: author: Claudia Lars, author: Alfredo Espino
• Equatorial Guinea 🇬🇶: Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel - By Night The Mountain Burns*
• Eritrea 🇪🇷: African Titanics by Abu Bakr*
• Estonia 🇪🇪: Truth and Justice by A.H. Tammsaare, Man who Spoke Snakish by Andrus Kivirähk, Indrek Hargala : Apothecary Melchior series
• Ethiopia 🇪🇹 : Tower in the Sky, Arabian Sands, Beneath the lions Gaze by Maaza Mengiste*
• Fiji 🇫🇯: Satendra Nanjan Fijian-Indian: fragments
• Finland 🇫🇮: The Summer Book, A Year of The Hare, Compartment No 6 by Rosa Liksom, Mr. Darwin's Gardner by Kristina Carlson: The Defenceless by Kati Hiekkapelto
• France 🇫🇷 : Collected Stories by W. Somerset Maugham, Affairs of State by Dominique Manotti, A Kingdom of Souls by by Daniela Hodrová, Bitter Almonds by Larence Cossé, Escape by Dominique Manotti, Happy are the Happy by Yasmina Reza, Ladivine by Marie NDiaye, Leonora by Elena Poniatowska, Life, Only Better by Anna Gavalda, Mon Amie Américaine by Michèle Halberstadt, Murder Most Serene by Gabrielle Wittkopp, Paris for Outsiders by Juliette Lamber, Soft in the Head by Marie-Sabine Roger, Suite for Barbara Loden by Nathalie Léger, The People in the Photo by Hélène Gestern, Tregian's Ground by Anne Cuneo, We’re Not Here to Disappear by Olivia Rosenthal, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, The Little Prince, The Rabbi's Cat by Joann Sfar, Racism Explained to My Daughter by Tahar Ben Jelloun/ The Sand Child, Marcel PAGNOL's "My father's glory
• Gabon 🇬🇦:
• Gambia 🇬🇲: When Monkeys talk/ Dabalagi by Baba Sillah.
• Georgia 🇬🇪: The Knight in the Panther's Skin by Shota Rustaveli
• Germany 🇩🇪: Ruby Red, Diary of a Young Girl, Axolotl RoadKill by Helene Hegemann, My Berlin Child by Anne Wiazemsky, The Cold Centre by Inka Parei, The Mussel Feast by Birgit Vanderbeke, The Shadowboxing Woman by Inka Parei, This Place Holds No Fear by Monika Held, Where Love Begins by Judith Hermann, You Are Not Like Other Mothers by Angelika Schrobsdorff, Sidhartha by Hermann Hess, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch
• Ghana 🇬🇭 : Ghana must Go, Mesack Asare: The Cross Drums, Changes: A Love Story by Ama Ata Aidoo
• Greece 🇬🇷 : Back to Delphi by Ioanna Karystiani, Seven Lives and One Great Love by Lena Divani,Why I Killed My Best Friend by Amanda Michelopoulou
• Grenada 🇬🇩: Force Ripe by Cindy McKenzie
• Guatemala 🇬🇹 : The President/ Men of Maize by Miguel Ángel Asturias, Sovernia/ The African Shore/ The Good Cripple/ The Beggar's Knife/ Dust on Her Tongue by Rodrigo Rey Rosas, The Honey Jar/ Crossing Borders/ The Secret Legacy/ The Girl from Chimel by Rigoberta Menchú
• Guinea 🇬🇳
• Guinea-Bissau 🇬🇼
• Guyana 🇬🇾:
• Haiti 🇭🇹 : Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge
• Honduras 🇭🇳: Don't be Afraid by Gringo, Blanca Olmedo by Lucila Gamero, My aunts the Crawls by Marco Rosa
• Hungary 🇭🇺 : The Door, Paul Street Boys, Be Faithful unto Death, Meša Selimović:Death and the Dervish
• Iceland 🇮🇸 : Stone Tree, Butterflies in November by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, Children in Reindeer Woods by Kristín Ómarsdóttir
• India 🇮🇳 : Winter evenings, The Palace of Illusions, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Becoming a Mountain, Jamila Gavin: Coram Boy, Secret Keeper by Mitali Perkins, When The River Sleeps by Easterine Kire, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, The Pregnant King by Davduty Pattanik, The Delightful Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee, Rain in the Mountains: Notes on the Himalayas, Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra by Ruskin Bond, Tales from Firozsha Baag by Rohinton Mistry, The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh, The lives of others - Neel Mukherjee, Gitanjali - Rabindra Nath Tagore, This is not that dawn by Yashpal, Ancient Promises by Jaishree Mishra, The Panchatantra by Vishnu, Arvind Adiga's White Tiger, The Sensualist/ The Night Train At Deoli/The Cherry Tree/The Tiger/ In The Tunnel Time Stops At Shamli/ Susanna’s 7 husbands/ Delhi Is Not Far,The Room On The Roof/Death Of The Trees/ The Blue Umbrella/ A Flight Of Pigeons/ When Darkness Falls by Ruskin Bond, Ponmiyin Selvan, One Part Women by Perumal Marigan, Pratham Pratishruti by Ashapurna devi, THIRUKURAL by Tiruvalluvar, Ponniyin Selvan, VADIVASAL ARENA BY C S CHELLAPPA, THE STORY OF A SEASIDE VILLAGE by VIJAYALAKSHMI, Karukku by Bama
• Indonesia 🇮🇩 : Tea With Hazbullah, Home by Leila S. Chudori, The Secrets of the Wild Wood by Tonke Dragt, The Rainbow Troops by Andrea Hirata, Man Tiger
• Iran 🇮🇷 : Reading Lolita in Tehran, Persopolis by Marjane Satrapi, Khomeini, Sade and Me by Abnousse Shalmani, The Gardens of Consolations by Parisa Reza, The Man Who Snapped His Fingers by Fariba Hachtroudi, Things We Left Unsaid by Zoya Pirzad, The Blindfold Horse
• Iraq 🇮🇶 : when Mountains weep by Gharbi Mustafa,The last pomegranate of the world by Bachtyar Ali, a journey to kurdistan by Ruwayda Mustafa, Letters from a Kurd by Kae Bahar
• Ireland 🇮🇪: the Boy in The Stripped Pajamas, Morning Sea by Margaret Mazzantini, Asking for It by Louise O'Neill, Into the Grey by Celine Kiernan
• Israel 🇮🇱 : Lies, First Person by Gail Hareven, One Night, Markovitch by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, The Best Place on Earth by Ayelet Tsabari
• Italy 🇮🇹 : 1984, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius , My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, Eva Sleeps by Francesca Melandri, From The Land of The Moon by Milena Agus, The Hollow Heart by Viola Di Grado, The Jewish Husband by Lia Levi, The Nun by Simonetta Agnello Hornby, Three, Imperfect Number by Patrizia Rinaldi, "Marcovaldo: or the Seasons in the City", by Italo CALVINO
• Jamaica 🇯🇲: A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
• Japan 🇯🇵: The Essence of Buddha, The Guest Cat,Guardian of the Spirit, Guardian of the Darkness by Nahoko Ukenashi, Facing the Bridge by Yoko Tawada, Salad Anniversary by Machi Tawara, Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami: The Bridegroom was a Dog by Yoko Tawada, Wild Grass on the Riverbank by Hiromi Ito, All She Was Worth by Mikuki Miyabe
• Jordan 🇯🇴: Land of No Rain by Amjad Nasser, Cities of Salt
• Kazakhstan 🇰🇿: Abish Kekelbayev - Ballad of Forgotten Years, "The book of Words" by Abai Kunanbaev
• Kenya 🇰🇪 : Dust, The White Masai, Child of Dandelions by Shenaaz Nanji, Honey Guide by Richard Crompton, The Last Plague by Maija Mwangi
• Kiribati 🇰🇮:
• Kuwait: The Bamboo Stalk, The Hidden Lights of Objects by Mai alNaqib
• Kyrgyzstan 🇰🇬: Kyrgyzstan: Chingiz Aitmatov - Jamilia*
• Laos 🇱🇦 : Mother's beloved
• Latvia 🇱🇻 : Come To Me by Kārlis Vērdiņ, Aspasia. A Latvian Writer 1865-1943. Her Lyrical Prose, Suddenly, a Criminal: Sixteen Years in Siberia, The Tower and Other Stories, High Tide by Inga Abele
• Lebanon 🇱🇧 : One Thousand and One Nights, Samarkand by Amin 
Maaluf, Kamal Jann by Dominique Eddé, Kite by Dominique Eddé, Oh, Salaam by Najwa Barakat
• Lesotho 🇱🇸
• Liberia 🇱🇷: The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper, Why Leopard has Spots
• Libya 🇱🇾 : In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar*, The Bleeding of the Stone by Ibrahim al-Koni
• Liechtenstein 🇱🇮 : Seven Years in Tibet, Rapids
• Lithuania 🇱🇹 : Between Shades of Gray
• Luxembourg 🇱🇺 : Ralph 124C 41+ by Hugo Gurnsback, Minute Stories by Robi
• Macedonia 🇲🇰: Homunculus: Fairy Tales from the Left Pocket by Aleksandar Prokopiev*
• Madagascar 🇲🇬 : Beyond the Rice Fields by Naivo*
• Malawi 🇲🇼: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind' by William Kamkwamba, Oath of the Allegiance by Charles Mlunga*
• Malaysia 🇲🇾 : Ripples and Other Stories,The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Taw, Kampung Boy by Lat, A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder by Shamini Flint, Salina by A. Samad Said, Made in Malaysia: Stories of Hometown Heroes and Hidden Gems by Alexandra Wong, The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo, The Rice Mother by Rani Manicka, Sorcerer to the Crown
by Zen Cho,21 Immortals by Rozlan Mohamed Noor, As I Was Passing I and II by Adibah Amin, The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng, Life's Like That by Lydia Teh, Inspector Singh Invstigates: A Bali Conspiracy Most Faul by Shamimi Flint
• Maldives 🇲🇻 : Dhon Hiyala and Ali Fulhu
• Mali 🇲🇱: The Fortunes of Wangrin/ A Spirit of Tolerance by Amadou Hampâté Bâ
• Malta 🇲🇹:
• Marshall Islands 🇲🇭:
• Mauritania 🇲🇷:
• Mauritius 🇲🇺: The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanaha
• Mexico 🇲🇽 : Like Water for Chocolate/ Pierced by the Sun by Laura Esquivel, Before by Carmen Boullosa, Texas: The Great Theft by Carmen Boullosa, The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli, Umami by Laia Jufresa, Aura by Carlos Fuentes, Tinismia by Elena Poniatowska
• Micronesia 🇫🇲 : Mariquita : a tragedy of Guam by Chris Perez Howard, The Book of Luelen
• Moldova : The Good Life Elsewhere by Vladimir Lorchenkov*, The homework" by Nicolae Dabija
• Monaco 🇲🇨
• Mongolia 🇲🇳 :
• Montenegro 🇲🇪: The Mountain Wreath by Petar II Petrovic Njegos/The Ray of Microcosm, The Mountain of Cries by Mihailo Lalic/ Evil spring, Deep dead by Cedo Vukovic
• Morocco 🇲🇦 : The Last Patriarch by Najat El Hachmi, The Life of Elves by Muriel Barbary: The Arch and the Butterfly by Mohammad Achaari
• Mozambique 🇲🇿 : The First Wife by Paulina Chiziane
• Myanmar 🇲🇲 (Burma): Not Out of Hate by Journal Kyaw Ma Ma Lay, 'Smile As They Bow' by Nu Nu Yi (Innwa), 'From the Land of Green Ghosts' by Pascal Khoo Thwe, Not Out Of Hate by Journal Kyaw, Freedom of Fear or Letters from Burma by Aung San Suu Kyi, : A Burmese Heart by Tinzar Maw Naing, Golden Parasol by Wendy Lawyone, Maurice Collis' She Was a Queen, "The River of Lost footsteps" by Thant Myint-U
• Namibia 🇳🇦 : The Purple Violet of Oshaantu by Neshani Andreas
• Nauru 🇳🇷
• Nepal 🇳🇵 : The Royal Ghost, The City Son by Samrat Upadhyay
• Netherlands 🇳🇱 : The Gladiators by Fik Meijer, How to Become a King by Jan Terlouw, Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, The Evenings by Gerard Reve
• New Zealand 🇳🇿 : Plumb, The Whale Rider, The Betrayal of Maggie Blair by Elizabeth Laird, I am not Esther by Fleur Beale, The Girl Who Rode The Wind, • "English Harem" from Anthony McCarten
• Nicaragua 🇳🇮 : Infinity in the Palm of her hand, The Country Under My Skin by Gioconda Belli
• Niger 🇳🇪
• Nigeria 🇳🇬 : Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Song for Night by Chris Abani, • I Do Not Come to You By Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
• North Korea 🇰🇵 : The Orphan Master's Son, MY LIFE AND FAITH, by RI IN MO, The Accusation by Bandi,
• Norway 🇳🇴 : The Blue Room by Hanne Ørstavik, The Looking Glass Girls by Gøhril Gabrielsen, Sophie's World/ Maya/ Orange Girl/ Looking in the Glass by Jostien Garder, Shyness and Dignity by Dag Solstad
• Oman 🇴🇲 : Earth Weeps and Saturn Laughs
• Pakistan 🇵🇰 : the Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad, Moth smoke,
My feudal lord, A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammad Hanif, The Reluctant Fundamentalist/Exit West/Moth by Mohsin Hamid, Blasphemy by Tehmina Durrani, Palatial Stories from Sindh by Shaikh Aziz, Glimpses of Sindhi Short Fiction by Saleem Noorhusain, Ice-Candy Man by Bapsi Sidhwa, Kartography/ Burnt Shadows/ Broken Verses/ Salt and Saffron By Kamila Shamsie, Undying Affinity/Our Story Ends Here by Sara Naveed, Visiting American Mind By Mehmood Shaam, Wanting Mor And King Of The Skies By Rukhsana Khan, Air warriors : 50 Years Of Pakistan Air Force By Muhammad A. Housseni, Great Air Battle Of Pakistan, Air Force By M. Kaisar Tufail, Defenders Of Pakistan By Mohammad Amin & Masud Quraishy, Flight Of The Falcon By S Sajjad Haider, Heart of Eternity By Nida Jay, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders By Daniyal Mueenuddin, Black Wings By Sehba Sarwar, The Murder Of Aziz Khan by Zulfikar Ghose,Pir-e-Kamil by Umera Ahmed, Dayar-e-Dil by Farhat Ishtiaq, Bano by Razia Butt, Maps for Lost Lover by Nadeem Aslam, The Writing On my Forehead by Nafisa Haji
• Palau 🇵🇼 : The Legends of Palau, Legends and Tales from The Island Nation- Palau
• Palestine: Three daughters, Time of White Horses by Ibrahim Nasrallah, Men in the Sun by Ghassan Kanafani, Sunflower or Wild Thorns by Sahar Khalifeh, Of Noble Origins by Sahar Khalifeh, Touch by Adania Shibli, Mornings in Jenin, Code Name: Butterfly by Ahlam Bsharat
• Panama 🇵🇦 : The Golden Horse by Juan David Morgan
• Papua New Guinea 🇵🇬
• Paraguay 🇵🇾: I, The Supreme by Augusto Roa Bastos
• Peru 🇵🇪 : The Storyteller/ Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter/ Death in the Andes* by Mario Vargas Llosa, Red April by Santiago Roncagliolo
• Philippines 🇵🇭: Banana Heart by Merlinda Bobis, Noli Me Tangere by Jose Rizal, author: Nick Joaquin, Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn, The Rosales Saga: The Pretenders, My Brother, My Executioner, The Samsons by F. Sionil Jose
• Poland 🇵🇱 : The Long Walk by Sławomir Rawicz, Chasing The King's Heart by Hanna Krall, "Maps" by Aleksandra & Daniel Mizieliński!, "A Treatise on Shelling Beans" by Wiesław Myśliwski, 'Tales of Pirx the Pilot' by Stanislaw Lem
• Portugal 🇵🇹 : The Mandarian and other Stories, author: Jose Saramago, author: Jose Luis Peixoto, author: Ricardo Reis, Death With Interruptions by Jose Saramago, Balthasar and Blimunda by José Saramago
• Qatar 🇶🇦 : The Corsair by AbulAziz Al-Mahmoud*, Qatari Voices
• Romania 🇷🇴 : Night by Elie Weisel, The Fox Was Ever the Hunter by Herta Müller, Why we love women by Mircea Cartarescu
• Russia 🇷🇺 : War and peace by Leo Tolstoy, The Master and Margarita, Baba Donja's Last Love by Alina Bronsky, In Praise of Poetry by Olga Sedakova, Letter to The Amazon by Marina Tsvetaeva, Memories by Teffi, The Women of Lazarus by Marina Stepnova, Twenty Three Tales by Leo Tolstoy, "A Hero of Our Time" by Lermontov
• Rwanda 🇷🇼 : Our Lady of The Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga, author: Paul Rusesabagina
• St. Kitts and Nevis
• St. Lucia: Nor any Country by Garth St. Omar
• St. Vincent and The Grenadines
• Samoa 🇼🇸: Leaves of the Banyan Tree or the Songmaker's chair by Albert Wendt
• San Marino 🇸🇲: The republic of San Marino by Giuseppe Rossi
• Sao Tome and Principe 🇸🇹
• Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦 : Girls of Riyadh, Cities of Salt by Abderahman Munif
• Scotland: Kidnapped, The Prime of Miss jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
• Senegal 🇸🇳 : So Long a Letter
• Serbia 🇷🇸 : Milorad Pavić: Dictionary of the Khazars : A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Word, The Tiger's Wife by Tèa Obreht
• Seychelles 🇸🇨
• Sierra Leone 🇸🇱 : A long Way Gone/ Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah, The Memory of Love/ Ancestor Stones/ The Devil that Danced on the Water by Aminatta Forna
• Singapore 🇸🇬 : Fistful of Colours, A River's Song by Suchen Christine Lim, Aunty Lee's Delights by Ovidia Lu, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew, Spider Boys by Ming Cher, Mammon Inc by Tan Hwee
• Slovakia 🇸🇰: Ever green is: selected prose by pavel vilikovsky
• Slovenia 🇸🇮: Alamut by Vladimir Bartol
• Solomon Islands 🇸🇧: Suremada: Faces from a Solomon Island Village by Rexford Orotaloa
• Somalia 🇸🇴: Folk Tales from Somalia by Ahmed Artan Hange, Culture and Customs of Somalia by Mohammad Diriye Abdullahi, The Orchard of Lost Souls by Nadifa Mohamed, From a Crooked Rib by Nuruddin Farah; Secrets of Sardines
• South Africa 🇿🇦 : Long Walk to Freedom, Waterlandsridge by Vincent Gray, The Elusive Moth by Ingrid Winterbach, Paper Bird by Maretha Maartens, Kaffir Boy
• South Korea 🇰🇷 : The hen who Dreamed she could Fly, The Vegetarian by Han Kang, One Hundred Shadows by by Hwang Jungeun, I have the Right to Destroy Myself by Kim Young-ha, Please look after mom by Shin Kyung-sook, The Bird by Jung-hee
• South Sudan 🇸🇸 : They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys of Sudan by Alephonsion Deng
• Spain 🇪🇸 : The High Mountains of Portugal, Death in Spring by Mercè Rodoreda, The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
• Sri Lanka 🇱🇰 : Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai, Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew by Shehan Karunatilaka ,The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, Cinnamon Gardens by Shyam Selvadurai, Anil's Ghost 
by Michael Ondaatje,The Road From Elephant Pass by Nihal de Silva, Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje, Reef by Romesh Gunesekera, In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje ,A Disobedient Girl by Ru Freeman, Swimming in the Monsoon Sea by Shyam Selvadurai ,The Flower Boy by Karen Roberts, July by Karen Roberts, The Prisoner of Paradise by Romesh Gunesekera, Island of a Thousand Mirrors by Nayomi Munaweera, Tamil Tigress by Niromi de Soyza, The Hamilton Case by Michelle de Kretser, Colpetty People by Ashok Ferrey, Moments of Merriment by Irfan Hafiz, Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala, The sweet and simple kind by Yasmin Gooneratne
• Sudan: Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih, Lyrics Alley by Leila Aboulela
• Suriname 🇸🇷 : The Cost of Sugar
• Swaziland:
• Sweden 🇸🇪: the thrillers by Stieg Larsson, the dramas from last turn of century by Hjalmar Söderberg, The Dwarf by Par Lagerkvist, Marianne Fredriksson - Anna, Hanna & Johanna, Mio my son by astrid lindgren, Little Star by John Ajvide Lindqvist, Girl With A Dragon Tattoo, a man called ove by Fredrik Backman, The Children of Noisy Village/ Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren, Agnes Cecilia/ "Pappa Pellerin's Daughter" by Maria Gripe, "The Wonderful Adventures of Nils" by Selma Lagerlöf
• Switzerland 🇨🇭 : Heidi, Beauty on Earth, Invitation to The Bold of Heart by Dorothee Elmiger
• Syria 🇸🇾 : Breaking Knees, In Praise of Hatred by Khaled Khalifa, A Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution by Samar Yazbek
• Taiwan 🇹🇼: Last words from Montmartre by Qiu Miajin*
• Tajikistan 🇹🇯: “Hurramabad” by Andrei Volos, The sands of Oxus/ Bukhara: Reminiscences By Sadriddin Ayni
• Tanzania 🇹🇿: Desertion by Abdulrazak Gurnah
• Thailand 🇹🇭 : The Happiness of Kati by Jose Vejjajiva, The Sad Part Was by Prabda Yoon
• Togo 🇹🇬
• Tonga 🇹🇴: Tales of the Tikongs/ Kisses in the Nederends By Epeli Hauʻofa
• Trinidad and Tobago 🇹🇹 : Yin Li One Girl's Journey: Taishan to Trinidad, A House for Mr. Biswas/ Miguel Street by V.S. Naipaul 
• Tunisia 🇹🇳 : Talismano, Thus Spoke Abu Huraira by Mahmoud Messaidi; The Dam, Sleepless Nights by Ali Douagi, Lion Mountain by Mustapha Tlili, The Scents of Marie by Claire Habib Selmi, A Tusnian Tale by Hassouna al-Moshabi, The Present Tense of the World by Amina Said
• Turkey 🇹🇷: The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak; Bastards of Istanbul, The Honour, The Architect's Apprentice, Black Book by Orhan Pamuk; The Snow, Istanbul, Madonna in a Fur Coat by Sabahattin Ali,
•Turkmenistan 🇹🇲: Aysoltan from the land of white gold/ Nebit-Dag/ Born by a Miracle By Berdi Kerbabayev
• Tuvalu 🇹🇻
• Uganda 🇺🇬 : Abyssinian Chronicles by Moses Isegava
• Ukraine 🇺🇦 : Near to the Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector, "Taras Bulba" by Nikolai Gogol, Voroshilovgrad/ Depeche Mode by Sergiy Zhadan, The Hunters and the Hunted by Ivan Bahriany, The Moskoviad by Andrukhovych.
• United Arab Emirates 🇦🇪 : The Wink of the Mona Lisa
• United Kingdom 🇬🇧: Harry Potter, Cracking Skulls in Portishead by John Cullen, Jane Eyre by Charelottet Bronte, The Professor by Ema Bronte, The Minister's Daughter by Julie Hearn
• United States of America 🇺🇸: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, The School For Good And Evil, As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Whiteman's Leaves of Grass, Meena by Melody Ermachild Chavis, Princess & Daughters of Arabia by Jean P. Sasson
• Uruguay 🇺🇾 : The Decapitated Chicken, Children of the Days: A Calendar of Human History by Eduardo Galeano, A Brief Life by Juan Carlos Onetti
• Uzbekistan 🇺🇿: Hamid Ismailov - The Dead Lake/The Railway
• Vanuatu 🇻🇺
• Vatican City 🇻🇦:
• Venezuela 🇻🇪: Mama Blanca's Memoirs/ Iphigenia by Teresa de la Parra, The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos
• Vietnam 🇻🇳 : Paradise of the Blind, Abahn Sabana David by Marguerite Duras, The Taste of Salt by Monique Truong, 'The sorrow of war' by Bao Ninh
• Yemen 🇾🇪 : They Die Strangers by Mohammad Abdul-Wali, The Hostage by Zaid Mutee Dammaj, Hurma by Ali al-Muqri*, A Land Without Jasmine by Wajdi al-Ahdal, It's Just Love by Nadia Alkowkabani,
• Zambia 🇿🇲 : A Cowrie of Hope*
• Zimbabwe 🇿🇼 : The Book of Memory, The Girl On The Train, We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo, Zenzele by J. Nozipo Maraire , Zenzele by J. Nozipo Maraire
: Read
*: Awaiting Delivery/ Will be reading it soon