Book Recommendations


Reading the World

This book recommendation list covers titles originally published across the world, from China to Egypt, Russia to Denmark. Fill your reading list with translated books and do some globe-trotting without leaving the sofa. 


Three Sisters by Bi Feiyu

Translated by Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-chun Lin


This second novel by Bi Feiyu, one of the most respected novelists and screenwriters in China today, won the 2011 Man Asian Prize. Set in Maoist China after the Cultural Revolution, it is structured as three linked tragicomic novellas. The story follows the lives of three sisters as they struggle to find their place amidst betrayal, intrigue and the ruptures of time.



Eline Vere by Louis Couperus

Translated by Ina Rilke


Benjamin Moser in Harper's calls Eline Vere by Dutch writer Louis Couperus a masterpiece, writing, "For its roomy, chatty descriptions of life among the moneyed classes, it is a Buddenbrooks avant la lettre; for its restless heroine, trapped by social obligations, it's a Dutch Madame Bovary... in Ina Rilke's smart new translation, it anticipates the questions that would become so important for women in the decades to come: no longer content in a purely domestic world, what were they to do with themselves?"



Stealth by Sonallah Ibrahim

Translated by Hosam Aboul-Ela


Sonallah Ibrahim is one of Egypt's greatest living writers. In this moving bildungsroman, we witness a time of great upheaval in the country through the eyes of an eleven-year-old boy. 




Destiny and Desire 

by Carlos Fuentes 

Translated by Edith Grossman


An extraordinary and affecting work by one of Latin America's greatest writers brought over into English by one of our greatest translators in a pitch-perfect rendering. Arguably one of Fuentes best works.




The New Moscow Philosophy 
by Vyacheslav Pyetsukh

Translated by Krystyna Steiger 


Displaying a sharp wit and a Gogolian sense of the absurd, Pyetsukh revisits the age-old debate over the relationship between life and art. In The New Moscow Philosophy he argues that in Russia life imitating literature is as true as literature reflecting life.





Comedy in a Minor Key 

by Hans Keilson

Translated by Damion Searls


In The New York Times Book Review, Francine Prose called this a masterpiece, and we agree. Keilson's work deserves to be much better known in the United States. In this book, he tells the story of a Dutch couple who shelter a Jew and the complications that ensue when he dies.