One Country/One Book

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  • Trying to read a book from an author in every country of the world:
  • Country {48}- {Europe/Anglo- 26} {Middle East-7} {Asia-3} {Latin America-6} {Africa-5) (Caribbean-2)
  • Afghanistan- Atiq Rahimi- Earth and Ashes
  • Albania- Ismail Kadare- The General of the Dead Army
  • Algeria- Tahar Djaout- The Last Summer of Reason
  • Argentina- Jorge Luis Borges- Labyrinths
  • Australia- Thomas Keneally- To Asmara
  • Austria- Elfriede Jelinek- The Piano Teacher
  • Belgium- Louis Paul Boon- My Little War
  • Bosnia- Ivo Andric- The Bridge on the Drina
  • Cameroon- Ferdinand Oyono- Houseboy
  • Canada- Margaret Atwood- The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Chile- Alberto Fuguet- The Movies of My life
  • China- Dai Sijie- Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
  • Colombia- Gabriel Garcia Marquez- One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Croatia- Dubravka Ugresic- Thank You For Not Reading
  • Cuba- Antonio Jose Ponte- Tales From the Cuban Empire
  • Czech Repblic- Patrik Ourednik- Europeana
  • Egypt- Naguib Mahfouz- The Beggar
  • France- Albert Camus- The Fall
  • Germany- Berhnard Schlink- The Reader
  • Greece- Menis Koumandareas- Koula
  • Hungary- Imre Kertesz- Fateless
  • Iraq- Muhsin Al-Ramli- Scattered Crumbs
  • Ireland- John Banville- The Book of Evidence
  • Israel- Yoel Hoffmann- Bernhard
  • Italy- Curzio Malaparte- The Skin
  • Japan- Yoko Tawada- Where Europe Begins
  • Lebanon- Rashid Al-Daif- This Side of Innocence
  • Martinique- Aime Cesaire- Discourse on Colonialism
  • Mexico- Ignacio Padilla- Shadow Without a Doubt
  • Morocco- Tahar Ben Jelloun- The Blinding Absence of Light
  • Netherlands- Cees Nooteboom- The Following Story
  • Nigeria- Chris Abani- Becoming Abigail
  • Norway- Knut Hamson- Hunger
  • Palestine- Sahar Khalifeh- Wild Thorns
  • Poland- Stefan Chwin- Death in Danzig
  • Romania- C. Virgil Gheorghiu- The 25th hour
  • Russia- Fyodor Doestoyevsky- Notes from the Underground
  • Serbia- David Albahari- Gotz and Mayer
  • Scotland- Irvine Welsh- Trainspotting
  • Slovenia- Boris Pahor- Necropolis
  • South Africa- J.M.Coetzee- Boyhood
  • Spain- Vicente Blasco Ibanez- The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
  • Sweeden- August Strindberg- Miss Julie
  • Switzerland- Friedrich Durrenmatt- The Visit
  • Syria- Muhammad Kamil al-Khatib- Just Like a River
  • Trinidad/Tobago- V.S. Naipaul- A Bend in the River
  • Ukraine- Anatoly Kuznetsov- Babi Yar
  • Uruguay- Carlos Maria Dominguez- The House of Paper
  • Vietnam- Thu Huong Duong- Novel Without a Name

If you put an underscore (_) in front of your entry, it removes the bullet. Also, the totals would be easier to keep track of if you stick them in the comments...
Just suggestions from things that I've learned here. I really think this is an interesting list, but what are you going to do about areas that seem to change boundaries and country names quite often? Does the piece get classified under the original name? Or the name of the place at the time during it was written? For instance the USSR... any "Russian" books written in the 80's might actually belong to the Ukraine or something.
It strikes me that you're also chosing strange pieces. For instance, you chose Camus which is good, but by no means his best piece. And what about Dumas or Hugo? And what about Dostoyevsky... not exactly his best piece either! Any reasoning?

Thanks for the tip! I sort of use my own judgement regarding the country; the USSR was an artificial empire, so I dont really use that term anymore. The people that lived in the Ukraine still had hundreds of years of Ukranian culture and history behind them. I suppose that is my rationale; hell, some of the countries are not even countries, Palestine for instance.

I think the novel is an excellent way to learn about a place. As far as book choice, I actually want to change a few. Obviously, I have read more than one french or russian novel. My goal was to choose less obvious titles actually, hoping to introduce people to different writers. FYI, I do think "The Fall" is his best novel!

Ok, good luck for Luxembourg then. Maybe you should try Dr. Mabuse by Norbert Jacques, who is one of the few translated Luxemburgish authors.

Yeah there will be some tough countries for sure. I mean let's face it, Bhutan and Togo might be even harder than Luxembourg!

Here you go for Togo.

Thanks! I have been looking to read that, but didn's know it was from Togo! I love what the NYRB does for publishing.

Among the books on this list, I have only read Camus, Schlink and Dürrenmatt. What do you think of them?

I love Camus, he is the most interesting of the post-war French novelists. I have read just about everything by him, minus The Rebel, and found it interesting and relevant.

Schlink- well The Reader was a good read and brought up some interesting questions: when you follow the law of your country how can you be a criminal? I found that fascinating. Flights of Love wasn't quite as good. I still hang my head low from reading an Oprah book...

Durrenmatt- I remember liking it. I read that quite awhile ago for an absurdist drama class.

Read this one, it is amazing: Hungary- Imre Kertesz- Fateless
Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Serbia have the best novelists in Eastern Europe.

The Stranger/L'étranger and The Fall/La chute are the two only books I have read by Camus. But The Pest/La peste seems interesting.

The Reader is really good IMO.
I don't like Dürrenmatt though. I have read some books by him, but didn't dig any of them.

Also thanks for the recommendation. I put it onto my to-read list 2006. I have never heard of Kertesz, but it's always refreshing to discover a new writer. I think Eastern European literature is really interesting, and I should probably investigate more into it in the future years.

No way.

Aren't there going to be many countries that have no books translated to your fluent language(s)?

Still: great, great project!

Not sure, I would imagine. At some point I would hope a novel or something would be translated. If countries keep breaking up, it gets harder and harder! Now I have to do Montenegro and I am sure Kurdistan is right around the corner...

I recommend you 'The Blind Owl' by Sadegh Hedayat, Iran.
It is translated to English, and many other languages too.

thanks I will check it out!

That makes me think that most of the books I read are from US/England/France.
You didn't count US and England or you didn't read any of them ? (o_0) *joking*

Yeah Americans, who needs them! I didnt count those two as I have read so many.

I'm cloning the list and made:
One Country/One Book
One State/One Book (USA)

Still under construction.

I decide to put short stories on my list too, because I was putting books I didn't like very much in front of amazing short stories. Exemple, I prefer The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wilde than The Finishing School by Muriel Spark, I prefer The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe than The Object of my Affection by Stephen McCauley...

I mean, I prefer The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wilde than Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. Muriel Spark is from Scotland, but you get the point.

Ok Nance I approve :)

Now, now... again no Portugal? Or Brazil? ;) We're 6th in native speakers...

I guess you will like:
(PT)
Fernando Pessoa, The Book Of Disquiet. (very interesting literary persona)
José Saramago, Blindness. (please do not watch the movie, at least before reading the book)
(BR)
Jorge Amado, Dona Flor and her Two Husbands. (please stay away from Paulo Coelho)