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!