Today’s Booking Through Thursday’s question is:
Name a book (or books) that you love from a country other than your own (in my case the UK).
Where to start? There are so many! My choices are books that came to mind today – another day I could choose many other books and other countries.
I think the first one is a book from Switzerland – one from my childhood. It’s Heidi by Johanna Spyri. I loved this book and the sequels, Heidi Grows Up and Heidi’s Children both written by Charles Tritten. It was first published in 1880. Johanna Spyri was born and lived in Switzterland. In the story Heidi goes to live in the Swiss Alps with her grandfather who lives on his own isolated from the other villagers. At first he doesn’t want Heidi there at all but she gradually softens his heart. I haven’t read it for years and would probably find it terribly dated and sentimental, but it lives in my mind as a beautiful book.
Next, a book from the USA – Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner. This book won the Pullitzer Prize for fiction in 1972. It is the story of Lyman Ward, a wheelchair bound retired historian who is writing his grandparents’ life history and also gradually reveals his own story. It’s the story set in the wilderness of the American West – of Oliver Ward’s struggles with various mining and engineering construction jobs, contrasted with Susan Ward’s efforts to support him against great difficulties. This is made more difficult when she compares her life with that of her New York society friend, Augusta.
One of the reasons I chose this book is my fascination with the Wild West.
Margaret Atwood is favourite author who is Canadian. Which book to chose? I’ve decided to highlight the first one that I read – The Blind Assassin.
I think it may have been one of the first books I read that contains a story within a story and it’s about writers and readers as well as about the lives of two sisters, one of whom apparently committed suicide.
Another favourite author is the Australian Colleen McCullough. I’ve loved her books – the Rome series – The First Man in Rome and so on. I first came across her books many years ago with the TV series of The Thorn Birds and then read the book, but my favourite has to be Morgan’s Run. This is an historical novel based on the history of Botany Bay centred on the life of Richard Morgan who was transported from Britain to New South Wales. Again it’s my fascination for history that made me enjoy this book so much.
Finally, a book from China. I read A Loyal Character Dancer by Qiu Xiaolong last year and it’s another favourite. Qiu Xiaolong was born in Shanghai and was a member of the Chinese Writers’ Association, publishing poetry, translations and criticism in China. Since 1989 he has lived in the United States, his work being published in many literary magazines and anthologies. His first crime novel, Death of Red Heroine, won the AnthonyAward for Best First Crime Novel. A Loyal Character Dancer is his second book featuring Chief Inspector Chen Cao, of the Shanghai Police Bureau. Apart from the story which is crime fiction there is a lot about China in it – life, the country and the impact of the Cultural Revolution.