Great Books by Refugees
Refugees have written some of the world's - and the United States' - best books. Here is a selection to choose from.
Described by Brecht as 'a gangster play that would recall certain events familiar to us all', The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui is a witty and savage satire of the rise of Hitler recast by Brecht into a small-time Chicago gangster's takeover of the city's greengrocery trade.
In this, the original book about the curious monkey, George is taken from the jungle by the man in the yellow hat to live in a new home, but--oh, what happened Though trying to be good, George is still very curious and takes a swim in the ocean, escapes from jail, and goes for a flying ride on a bunch of balloons.
In this classic work of economic history and social theory, Karl Polanyi analyzes the economic and social changes brought about by the "great transformation" of the Industrial Revolution. His analysis explains not only the deficiencies of the self-regulating market, but the potentially dire social consequences of untempered market capitalism.
"John E. Woods is revising our impression of Thomas Mann, masterpiece by masterpiece."--The New Yorker
"Doctor Faustus is Mann's deepest artistic gesture. . . . Finely translated by John E. Woods." --The New Republic
-How could such a book speak so powerfully to our present moment? The short answer is that we, too, live in dark times, even if they are different and perhaps less dark, and -Origins- raises a set of fundamental questions about how tyranny can arise and the dangerous forms of inhumanity to which it can lead.- Jeffrey C. Isaac, The Washington Post
In this classic work, Leo Strauss examines the problem of natural right and argues that there is a firm foundation in reality for the distinction between right and wrong in ethics and politics. On the centenary of Strauss's birth, and the fiftieth anniversary of the Walgreen Lectures which spawned the work, Natural Right and History remains as controversial and essential as ever.
Awe and exhiliration--along with heartbreak and mordant wit--abound in Lolita, Nabokov's most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert's obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America.
The unforgettable first novel that established Isabel Allende as one of the world's most gifted and imaginative storytellers.
Begun in the winter of 1955 and completed in the spring of 1956, Treatise on Poetry is a brilliant meditative poem fully expressive of the powers that have made Milosz one of our greatest writers.
This collection of essays thrusts Brodsky--heretofore known more for his poetry and translations--into the forefront of the "Third Wave" of Russian emigre writers. His insights into the works of Dostoyevsky, Mandelstam, Platonov, as well as non-Russian poets Auden, Cavafy and Montale are brilliant.
"Nuruddin Farah is one of the real interpreters of experience in our troubled continent. His insight goes deep, beyond events."--Nadine Gordimer
Ariel Dorfman's explosively provocative, award-winning drama is set in a country that has only recently returned to democracy. Gerardo Escobar has just been chosen to head the commission that will investigate the crimes of the old regime when his car breaks down and he is picked up by the humane doctor Roberto Miranda.
The shocking memoir by visionary Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas "is a book above all about being free," said The New York Review of Books--sexually, politically, artistically.
-Impressive . . . Cristina Garcia's] story is about three generations of Cuban women and their separate responses to the revolution. Her special feat is to tell it in a style as warm and gentle as the 'sustaining aromas of vanilla and almond, ' as rhythmic as the music of Beny More.---Time
A brilliant, sweeping history of diplomacy that includes personal stories from the noted former Secretary of State, including his stunning reopening of relations with China.
The seminal work on foreign policy and the art of diplomacy.
One of seven children of a high-ranking government official, Loung Ung lived a privileged life in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh until the age of five. Then, in April 1975, Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge army stormed into the city, forcing Ung's family to flee and, eventually, to disperse.
A national bestseller on its original publication in 2003, Madam Secretary is a riveting account of the life of America's first woman Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.
Seventeen years ago, Sepha Stephanos fled the Ethiopian Revolution for a new start in the United States. Now he finds himself running a failing grocery store in a poor African-American section of Washington, D.C., his only companions two fellow African immigrants who share his bitter nostalgia and longing for his home continent.
My new friends have begun to suspect I haven't told them the full story of my life.
"Why did you leave Sierra Leone?"
"Because there is a war."
"You mean, you saw people running around with guns and shooting each other?"
"Yes, all the time."
I smile a little.
Look out for Masha Gessen's new book, The Future is History, coming October 2017
From journalism's bravest, Masha Gessen--whose regular appearances on Samantha Bee, Rachel Maddow, the pages of the New York Times, and more have been a beacon of clarity in our troubled times -- comes a portrait of a ruthless man's ascent to near-absolute power.
A beautiful celebration of the power of hope, this New York Times bestselling novel tells the story of a girl who comes of age during the Cambodian genocide.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY MICHIKO KAKUTANI, THE NEW YORK TIMES - NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TIME
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY MORE THAN 45 PUBLICATIONS, INCLUDING
The winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as six other awards, The Sympathizer is the breakthrough novel of the year. With the pace and suspense of a thriller and prose that has been compared to Graham Greene and Saul Bellow, The Sympathizer is a sweeping epic of love and betrayal.
Robert, an Oakland cop, still can't let go of Suzy, the enigmatic Vietnamese wife who left him two years ago. Now she's disappeared from her new husband, Sonny, a violent Vietnamese smuggler and gambler who's blackmailing Robert into finding her for him.