Diversity! Whether you are looking for yourself in a book, or seeking to learn more about the cultures of others around us, these books that are set in specific cultural or ethnic contexts,are enriching for everybody.
Waiting by Ha Jin"In Waiting, Ha Jin portrays the life of Lin Kong, a dedicated doctor torn by his love for two women: one who belongs to the New China of the Cultural Revolution, the other to the ancient traditions of his family's village. Ha Jin profoundly understands the conflict between the individual and society, between the timeless universality of the human heart and constantly shifting politics of the moment. With wisdom, restraint, and empathy for all his characters, he vividly reveals the complexities and subtleties of a world and a people we desperately need to know."--Judges' Citation, National Book Award
Call Number: PS3560.I6 W34 1999
Publication Date: 1999
The Color Purple by Alice WalkerSet in the deep American South between the wars, it is the tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls 'father', she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker - a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually, Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.
Call Number: PS3573.A425 C6 1992
Publication Date: 1992
Invisible Man by Ralph EllisonInvisible Man is one of those rare novels that have changed the shape of American literature. For not only does Ralph Ellison's nightmare journey across the racial divide tell unparalleled truths about the nature of bigotry and its effects on the minds of both victims and perpetrators, it gives us an entirely new model of what a novel can be.
Call Number: PS3555.L625 I5 1990
Publication Date: 1952
The Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniAmir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir's choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.
Call Number: PS3608.O832 K58 2004
Publication Date: 2004
Things Fall Apart by Chinua AchebeTHINGS FALL APART tells two overlapping, intertwining stories, both of which center around Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first of these stories traces Okonkwo's fall from grace with the tribal world in which he lives, and in its classical purity of line and economical beauty it provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual and society.
Call Number: PR9387.9.A3 T5 2009
Publication Date: 1958
Persepolis by Marjane SatrapiA graphic novel.
Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.
Call Number: PN6747.S245 P4713 2003
Publication Date: 2003
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse; Hilda Rosner (Translator)Herman Hesse's classic novel has delighted, inspired, and influenced generations of readers, writers, and thinkers. In this story of a wealthy Indian Brahmin who casts off a life of privilege to seek spiritual fulfillment. Hesse synthesizes disparate philosophies--Eastern religions, Jungian archetypes, Western individualism--into a unique vision of life as expressed through one man's search for meaning.
Call Number: PT2617.E85 S513 1992
Publication Date: 1922
The Life of Pi by Yann MartelLife of Pi is a fantasy adventure novel by Yann Martel published in 2001. The protagonist, Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel, a Tamil boy from Pondicherry, explores issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age. He survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
Call Number: PR9199.3.M3855 L54 2001
Publication Date: 2001
Labyrinths: selected stories & other writings by Jorge Luis BorgesThis collection of short stories by a master of magical realism "blew my mind," says Daniel Radcliffe. "When I read a good book, I sometimes like to think I might be capable of writing something similar, but never, in my wildest dreams, could I write anything that approaches the level of cleverness and intellect and madness of Borges. I don't think anyone could." His favorite? The Argentinean writer's short story "The Library of Babel" ("Borges proves that if you can write a story in ten pages, it doesn't need to be any longer"), in which he imagines an infinite library filled with every book written, not yet written, and every combination of words and letters in between. "The premise is that contained somewhere in these books is the meaning of life. So cults develop that walk through the library searching for it. The fact that Borges could start with such an idea—an infinite library, what would that involve?—and then take it to a logical conclusion is remarkable."
Call Number: PQ7797.B635 A29 1983
Publication Date: 1962
White Teeth by Zadie SmithNominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read
At the center of this invigorating novel are two unlikely friends, Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal. Hapless veterans of World War II, Archie and Samad and their families become agents of England’s irrevocable transformation. A second marriage to Clara Bowden, a beautiful, albeit tooth-challenged, Jamaican half his age, quite literally gives Archie a second lease on life, and produces Irie, a knowing child whose personality doesn’t quite match her name (Jamaican for “no problem”). Samad’s late-in-life arranged marriage (he had to wait for his bride to be born), produces twin sons whose separate paths confound Iqbal’s every effort to direct them, and a renewed, if selective, submission to his Islamic faith. Set against London’ s racial and cultural tapestry, venturing across the former empire and into the past as it barrels toward the future, White Teeth revels in the ecstatic hodgepodge of modern life, flirting with disaster, confounding expectations, and embracing the comedy of daily existence.