Writers of Color 50 Book Challenge

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Looking for recs?
rydra_wong wrote in 50books_poc
I thought it might be helpful to have a post where people can ask for recs, and the mod has kindly given the go-ahead.

So if you're looking for books in a particular genre or on a particular topic, or if you want to say, "I loved such-and-such a book; which other authors might I like?" -- here's your post.

Leave a comment, and hopefully people will chip in with some suggestions.

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I really like historical fiction. I'm really interested in medieval type stuff, but I'd love to read something set outside of Europe. Honestly tho, I'll take pretty much anything that's pre-20th century in setting.

Edited at 2009-01-28 08:21 am (UTC)

I haven't read them yet, but Tariq Ali's written a number of historical novels which sound excellent:

Shadow of the Pomegranate Tree (set in the last days of al-Andalus)
The Book Of Saladin (12th century)
The Stone Woman (19th century Ottoman Empire)
A Sultan In Palermo (12th century)

Amin Maalouf's also written several historical novels:

Leo Africanus (15th century -- based on the life of the real Arabic traveller and writer)
Samarkand (11th century Persia)
The Gardens of Light (3rd century Persia and India)
Balthasar's Odyssey (17th century Mediterranean)

Nalo Hopkinson's The Salt Roads has narratives set in 4th century Egypt, Haiti in the 1800s and Paris in the 1880s.

Oh thank you! The Tariq Ali stuff sounds especially good. I shall add them to my amazon wishlist.

Belated thought -- if al-Andalus is of interest, Maria Rosa Menocal's The Ornament of the World is gorgeous and very moving. It's non-fiction, but written as a series of vignettes and stories.

Just looked at that on Amazon. It sounds really interesting. I've been interested in medieval Spain and the mix of cultures there for a while, and that book sounds just up my street.

More thoughts -- Caryl Phillips' Cambridge is set on a West Indian estate in the 19th century (and is devastating).

I haven't read Fred D'Aguiar's Feeding the Ghosts yet (it's on my to-read pile), but it's set on an 18th-century slave ship.

Eduardo Galeano's Memory of Fire: Genesis is the first in a three-part narrative of the history of America (South and North), told in myths and fragments and stories; Genesis starts with pre-Colombian creation myths and goes through the Spanish conquest.

You are a fantastic human being. Thank you.

I'm a compulsive book-enabler, is what I am *g*.

Oh, and *facepalms* -- somehow I forgot to mention Bernardine Evaristo's The Emperor's Babe (set in London in the 3rd century AD), which is dazzling and was one of my top 50books_poc discoveries.

Oh. My.

My Masters was on Roman and post-Roman Britain, and I'm mildly obsessed with the period.

Thank you SO much for telling me about this book. Have ordered it already.

She does really interesting things with the "historical fiction" framework -- she's obviously done the research, but she also throws in these deliberately-jarring flagrant anachronisms, so it's about Roman Britain and simultaneously about contemporary London. And I drool over the poetry.

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