This month we have a real voyage of literary exploration based around Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days. We’ve selected eighty authors from around the world with which to share your journey. Below is just a taster of the authors we’ve selected, just to whet your appetite. So pack your luggage, get your tickets and sun tan lotion, we are off!
Portrait in sepia / Isabel Allende ; translated by Margaret Sayers Peden.
“Both historical novel and family saga and set in 19th-century Chile, this story concerns Aurora del Valle’s search for the mystery of her past, a trauma so brutal that it erased from her mind all recollection of the first five years of her life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The wandering Earth / Cixin Liu ; translated by Ken Liu, Elizabeth Hanlon, Zac Haluza, Adam Lamphier, Holger Nahm.
“Cixin Liu is one of the most important voices in world Science Fiction. A bestseller in China, his novel, The Three-Body Problem , was the first translated work of SF ever to win the Hugo Award. Here is the first collection of his short fiction: these stories, including five Chinese Galaxy Award-winners, form a blazingly original ode to planet earth – its pasts and its futures. Liu’s fictions take the reader to the edge of the universe and the end of time, to meet stranger fates than we could have ever imagined.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The Commitments / Roddy Doyle.
“The Commitments are spreading the gospel of the soul. Ably managed by Jimmy Rabbitte, brilliantly coached by Joey ‘The Lips’ Fagan, their twin assault on Motown and Barrytown takes them by leaps and bounds from the parish hall to the steps of the studio door. But can The Commitments live up to their name?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
John Crow’s devil / Marlon James.
“The incredible debut novel from 2015 Man Booker Prize winner Marlon James. This stunning debut novel tells the story of a biblical struggle in a remote Jamaican village in 1957 with language as taut as classic works by Cormac McCarthy and a richness reminiscent of early Toni Morrison. Marlon James was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1970.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The dispossessed / Ursula Le Guin.
“The Principle of Simultaneity is a scientific breakthrough which will revolutionize interstellar civilization by making possible instantaneous communication. It is the life work of Shevek, a brilliant physicist from the arid anarchist world of Anarres.
But Shevek’s work is being stifled by jealous colleagues, so he travels to Anarres’s sister-planet Urras, hoping to find more liberty and tolerance there. But he soon finds himself being used as a pawn in a deadly political game.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Light thickens / Ngaio Marsh.
“The secret to Light Thickens’ success may lie in its combination of some of Marsh’s greatest passions, including her native New Zealand in the person of, unusually, a Maori character and the theater. Indeed, the plot centers on a production of well, let s skirt disaster by calling it the Scottish play, a play that Dame Ngaio produced and directed several times. Among theater folk, the Scottish play is considered unlucky, so much so that tradition requires anyone who utters its proper name backstage to leave the building, spin around, spit, curse, and then request permission to re-enter. For Ngaio Marsh, however, it seems to have been quite the opposite.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The sorrow of war : a novel of North Vietnam / Bao Ninh ; translated from the Vietnamese by Phan Thanh Hao ; edited by Frank Palmos.
“Bao Ninh, a former North Vietnamese soldier, provides a strikingly honest look at how the Vietnam War forever changed his life, his country, and the people who live there. Originaly published against government wishes in Vietnam because of its nonheroic, non-ideological tone, The Sorrow of War has won worldwide acclaim and become an international bestseller.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The famished road / Ben Okri.
“Azaro is a spirit child who is born only to live for a short while before returning to the idyllic world of his spirit companions. Now he has chosen to stay in the world of the living. This is his story.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)