Auckland Libraries: Desirable destinations

Desirable destinations

Try out these books are set in diverse locations around the world.

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Open city

Teju Cole

Book

New York City through the eyes of immigrants. Or try E.L. Doctorow's "Ragtime", Joseph O'Neill's "Netherland", Toni Morrison's "Jazz", or Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's".

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Reykjavik nights

1961- author. Arnaldur Indriðason

Book

Plunge into the Reykjavik underworld with this or any of the titles in the award-winning Inspector Erlendur crime series. Or try Bergsveinn Birgisson's "Reply to a letter from Helga", a love story and poignant account of Icelandic country life.

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Hot milk

Deborah Levy

Book

The Andalusian coast is the setting for a meditation on gender, identity, language and desire, set against stories of displacement and exile. Or try the "the novelist's novelist" Javier Marías, from Madrid, or Catalan writer Jaume Cabré.

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A tale of two cities

Charles Dickens

Book

Revolutionary Paris (and orderly London) in one dramatic tale of blood and anger, love and sacrifice. If you prefer a more enchanting, modern Paris, try "The little Paris bookshop", "The elegance of the hedgehog" or "In the café of lost youth".

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My brilliant friend

Elena Ferrante

Book

Italy! Ferrante's series about two girls growing up in Naples has been a literary phenomenon. Here's your chance to see why. Or try "A nest of vipers", the latest in Andrea Camilleri's subtly intelligent Inspector Montalbano series set in Sicily.

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An artist of the floating world

Kazuo Ishiguro

Book

The betrayal of youth in postwar Japan by the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Try also Ryū Murakami on Tokyo's teenage underground, plus Natsume Soseki, Shūsaku Endo, Haruki Murakami, Yasushi Inoue, Junichiro Tanizaki and Banana Yoshimoto.

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A god in every stone

Kamila Shamsie

Book

India in the early 20th century, in a passionate novel whose themes are imperialism, gender restriction, and loyalty to self and country. Or try Neel Mukherjee's "The lives of others", a West Bengal upstairs/downstairs epic set in the 1960s.

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A distant father

Antonio Skármeta

Book

For South America, here’s a gem, a novella set in Chile by the author of the book which inspired the movie ‘The postman’. Or try "The discreet hero" by the Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa, an irresistible take on fathers and sons, set in Peru.

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Frog

Yan Mo

Book

Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan looks at China with a mix of social criticism, mystical symbolism, and historical realism. Other brilliant names are the satirist Yan Lianke, the dissident exiles Ma Jian and Ha Jin, or try the debut novelist Lijia Zhang.

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Fardwor, Russia!

Oleg Kashin

Book

A fierce satire on Russia today by the journalist Oleg Kashin. Try also the absurdist post-Soviet novels by Andrey Kurkov. Or - we can't resist - how about Mikhail Elizarov's "The Librarian", winner of the 2008 Russian Booker Prize?

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