The Automobile Club of Egypt by Alaa al Aswany
From the most popular Egyptian novelist of his generation, a rollicking, exuberant and powerfully moving story of a family swept up by social unrest in post-World War II Cairo. Full of absorbing incident and marvelously drawn characters, Alaa Al Aswany's novel gives us Egypt on the brink of changes that resonate to this day. It is an irresistible confirmation of Al Aswany's reputation as one of the Middle East's most beguiling storytellers and insightful interpreters of the human spirit.
It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
A cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy, It Can't Happen Here is an alarming, eerily timeless look at how fascism could take hold in America. Written during the Great Depression, when the country was largely oblivious to Hitler's aggression, it juxtaposes sharp political satire with the chillingly realistic rise of a president who becomes a dictator to save the nation from welfare cheats, sex, crime, and a liberal press. This is a shockingly prescient novel that remains as fresh and contemporary as today's news.
The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam
In the last months of the Sri Lankan Civil War, Dinesh's world has contracted to an evacuee camp, where he measures his days by shells that fall like clockwork. Alienated from language, home, and family, he is brought back to life by an unexpected proposal from an old man in the camp: that he marry his daughter, Ganga. In the hours they spend together, Dinesh and Ganga attempt to awaken to one another, to reclaim their humanity. Anuk Arudpragasam's novel is a feat of stunning imaginative empathy, a meditation on the bare elements of human existence that give life its pulse and purpose, even in the face of atrocity.