“That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.”– Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake
Living in an age such as ours is delightful in many ways, but the most important aspect remains the accessibility that comes with it. As we accept diversity and become more sympathetic in our approach, it remains important to have the right tools that help us understand and accept the heterogeneous beauty that is our world.
We have selected five remarkable and epoch-making books that are sure to assist you in your comprehension of different cultures. Have a look:
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
The signature author of Indian diasporic fiction, Jhumpa Lahiri is a Pulitzer Prize Winner. Her short story collection, Interpreter of Maladies, tells of the emotional and social maladjustment of first and second generation immigrants. The Indian-origin American author’s tales navigate between the Indian tradition and the overwhelming new world, attempting compassion beyond borders, beyond language and beyond culture.
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Half of a Yellow Sun by the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is set during the Nigeria-Biafra Civil War. The racist oppression of innocent Nigerians by the British Empire is one of the main causes of conflict in the book, the other being racism between different Nigerian cultural sects themselves. Characters in the book are representations of these multiple cultures and lifestyles, including Richard – a member of the oppressive community.
The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Khaled Hosseini’s heartbreaking books explore the social, political, economic and emotional conditions of Afghanistan before and after the military and Taliban took over. The novels showcase Afghan culture, architecture and lifestyle. The disturbing account of discrimination, sexism and injustice, especially after the new rule, make these books culturally important.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Hate U Give shares the story of Starr, who witnessed her best friend get shot by authorities. Inspired by the BLM movement, this flawless novel dismatles white supremacy and breaks silence on cruelty and racism. This book acquaints you with the everyday struggle of African-Americans, resulting in a more empathetic approach towards the topic.
Hokkaido Highway Blues by Will Ferguson
Trail author Will Ferguson as he hitchhikes through Japan to understand true Japanese culture. Enriched with mesmerizing details of the country that cherishes art, seasons and food, this book is sure to take you on an intricately detailed trip to Japan and tickle your wanderlust.
“Our backs tell stories no books have the spine to carry.” Rupi Kaur
Will these books make it to your reading list? Tell us.
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