Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Top 10 8 Books That Tackle Tough Issues

8. Paule Marshall, The Chosen Place, The Timeless People

A character-driven examination of race, class, and power on an impoverished Caribbean island in the late 1960s. Subtle but eye-opening.

7. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper"

Despite my dislike of Herland, this is one disturbing look at the effects of well-minded paternalism mixed with post-partum depression. Still a great feminist text that resonates today.

6. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Problematic (to put it mildly) by today's standards but still a chilling examination of the impact of imperialism on the imperializers. And then you go on Wikipedia and learn that the Congo Free State was even worse than what Conrad described.

5. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Petals of Blood

The reality of what independence has meant for Kenya. A heavy-handed but powerful attack on the new ruling elite left in place by the European colonists to continue the exploitation.

4. Dalton Trumbo, Johnny Got His Gun

It's about a WWI vet whose arms, legs, and face have been blown off. It's, like, maybe kind of anti-war. Just a little. </sarcasm>

3. Mathias Énard, Zone

A brutal stream-of-conscious narrative about the perpetual warzone that is the Mediterranean.

2. Shan Sa, The Girl Who Played Go

One of my recent reads, this coming-of-age story, set in Manchuria during the Japanese occupation, explores the effects of war on young people, whether they're civilians or invading soldiers. Beautifully written and tragic, I really need to get a post out on this one.

1. Roberto Bolaño, 2666

A hard look at the ongoing rapes and murders of hundreds and hundreds of women in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juárez, and the society that enables such crimes.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at
The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers' answers. Everyone is welcome to join. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Don't worry if you can't come up with ten every time . . . just post what you can!


Ashley Holstrom said...

Ah, yes, I found out Go Ask Alice is fiction a few months ago. It was disappointing, but oh well. And I believe the author was Beatrice Sparks, yes? I think I read all of her other books and thought they were all nonfiction, too. -sigh- Oh well. They're still great books. Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

MJ said...

Great list! I've been wanting to read something by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, but it hasn't happened yet. As far as my list, I included one on the Congo: King Leopold's Ghost.
As far as Conrad, have you read this essay by Chinua Achebe?
It's excellent.

Oh, and if you're interested, the rest of my list is here: http://wanderinginthestacks.blogspot.com/2011/07/top-ten-tuesday.html

Marce said...

You definitely gave me new titles to look at.

My Top Ten


Anonymous said...

It took me almost an entire summer to get through Heart of Darkness -- it's unpleasant, to say the least. I didn't like the story, but it was extremely well-written.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Very nice list. I don't know why I haven't stopped by in so long, but I have missed reading your posts. I will return.

Here's my Top Ten Books Tackling Tough Issues. And don't forget to enter my July giveaway!

Anonymous said...

great list ,I ll suggest two red april tackling peru's difficult pasrt ,wonder by hugo claus tackles Belgium's ww2 time ,all the best stu

jawad akhtar said...

7. Charlotte Perkins Gilman iz the best in this way

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