Foreign Worlds

Readers who like their books steeped in other cultures.

  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North

    Book Dumpling Recommends For: Readers interested in historical fiction set in a Japanese POW . Lovers of forbidden love stories. Fans of fiction that jumps between the past and the present in Australia.


  • Shantaram

    Book Dumpling Recommends For: Travelers, nomads, and those with wandering spirits. Readers looking for a sweeping epic told by an escaped convict who becomes involved in Mumbai’s underworld. Anyone interested in stories of India.


  • Homegoing

    Book Dumpling Recommends For: Lovers of international fiction. Readers looking for a sweeping epic that follows the descendants of two half-sisters in Ghana, whose lives take vastly different turns. Anyone interested in African culture and history.


  • Day after Night

    Book Dumpling Recommends For: Lovers of historical fiction Readers looking for a story of four Jewish women who meet in an Israeli holding camp after surviving World War II Fans of books with strong female leads


  • The Year of the Runaways

    Book Dumpling Recommends For: Lovers of Indian immigrant fiction. Readers interested in the past lives of four major characters who then meet up in the present. Anyone wondering what it's like to come to England illegally.


  • Safekeeping

    Book Dumpling Recommends For: Readers interested in the story of an NYC drug addict transplanted to an Israeli Kibbutz. Lovers of historical fiction with a secret. Like a significant sapphire brooch with a story. Fans of characters from all different backgrounds, religions, beliefs with a hodgepodge of personalities thrown in.


  • The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: My Family’s Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World

    Lucette Lagnado and her Jewish family live comfortably in Cairo until the fall of King Farouk makes way for Gamal Abdel Nesser’s industrialization of Egyptian industries. After losing everything, they make their way from Cairo to New York on a journey that forces them to abandon the only life they...


  • All Our Names

    Told between Helen, a white social worker in America, and a would-be writer from Ethiopia, living in Uganda and then the U.S., the narrative explores best friends who drift apart during The African Revolution, interracial relationships and what it’s like to be an immigrant in the U.S. Among other storylines....


  • The Unamericans: Stories

    In this beautiful collection exploring the intersection between Old and New worlds, Antopol jumps between Israel and the States, with characters who come from Moscow, Kiev, Prague and more. Perfect for: Lovers of intellectual, short fiction. Book clubs looking for much fodder for discussion. Fans of globe-trotting stories that cover...


  • Nervous Conditions (Nervous Conditions #1)

    Set in 1960s Rhodesia, this superb coming-of-age novel follows two cousins, Tambu and Nyasha, as they struggle with identity. Perfect for: • Lovers of post-colonial, feminist, African literature. • Anyone looking for a coming-of-age story of two cousins. • Fans of stories that investigate the deep scars caused when one...


  • My Brilliant Friend (L’amica geniale #1)

    In this first in this much-lauded trilogy, Elena, now an older woman, recounts her tormented-yet-essential friendship with the captivating Lila Cerullo. She takes us back (with raw, beautiful prose) to their tough neighbourhood in Naples and traces the beginning of their arduous attachment up until their late teens. Perfect for:...


  • A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

    In this bone-chilling novel of war and endurance, 8-year-old Havaa lives in a small town in Chechnya. After the disappearance of her father, she travels with her neighbour, Akhmed, to the hospital where they meet Sonja, the remaining doctor in a world obliterated by cruelty and violence. These three characters,...


  • Americanah

    This is the type of book that will change your perspective, probably forever: We first meet Ifemelu as a Nigerian living in the States: she is a fellow at Princeton and her blog (which examines the hypocrisies and complexities that make up race in the U.S., specifically American Black and...


  • Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

    Jean-Baptiste Grenouille has an incredibly acute sense of smell: raised in an orphanage in 18th-century France, his olfactory gift doubles as his obsession. On his quest to find the perfect scent, Grenouille’s darker appetites emerge – with terrifying consequences.Perfect for:Lovers of menacing, sensual, philosophical stories.Anyone who loves a different kind of...


  • 419

    In Nigeria, “419” refers to a code of law dealing with fraud. In this suspenseful story about desperate acts – and the difficult reasons behind them – Ferguson takes readers to Africa to discover the how and why behind the world of fraudulent emails – and the four people whose...


  • And the Mountains Echoed

    Pari and Abdullah are inseparable siblings from rural Afghanistan – their story sets the stage for linked characters in a book spanning multiple cities.  Featuring a roster of narrators including a rebellious, unhappy female poet, an unusually devoted chauffeur, and a Greek plastic surgeon, the novel interweaves subjects such as love, loyalty,...


  • Thirty Girls

    When 130 Ugandan girls are kidnapped from a Catholic school, one of the nuns negotiates the return of all but thirty girls. This is the heartbreaking story of Esther – who got left behind, and of the journalist trying to understand and write about what happened.Perfect for:Readers interested in human...


  • The Lowland

    Subhash and Udayan are brothers growing up in Calcutta – a hotbed for social activism in the newly independent country of India. Subhash leaves for America to study, but a family tragedy forever alters his life. This lyrical narrative jumps from the streets of India to the rainy beaches of...


  • The Other Language

    In this delicious, short story collection, Marciano jumps between the Venice film festival, a remote island in East Africa, an island in Greece, and more, to introduce us to characters struggling with coming to terms with how unexpected life can turn out to be. And how they might negotiate it...


  • A Pigeon and A Boy

    In this moving story about the power of love, loss and having a place to call home, Shalev cleverly intertwines two narratives from different time periods that unite the past and the present through a message carried by – you guessed it – a pigeon.Perfect for: • Readers who enjoy...


  • My Family and Other Animals (Corfu Trilogy)

    Durrell tells the story of his family’s uprooting from their home (in gloomy England), to the sunny Greek island of Corfu in this touching-yet-comical memoir of an enchanting island and both the wildlife and people that inhabit it. Perfect for:   • Those wishing to be transported to the Mediterranean....


  • The Housekeeper and the Professor

    Set in modern-day Japan, a highly intellectual math Professor has only 80 minutes worth of memories, as a result of a terrible head injury. Every morning he is introduced to his housekeeper and her son – his caregivers. Still excellent at mathematical equations, he forms a special bond with the...


  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog

    In a lavish apartment building in the centre of Paris live Renée and Paloma. Renée –at first glance a stereotypical concierge – hides her highly cultured and intelligent persona from public view. Paloma, a precocious, 12-year-old, has decided to commit suicide on her 13th birthday. Their paths have never crossed...


  • We Need New Names

    In this phenomenal novel, Darling grows up in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe where her and her friends steal guavas during the day and play games to pass the time. They have been violently evicted from their houses and launched into serious poverty. When Darling travels to Detroit to live with her aunt,...


  • A Long Way Gone

    Set in Sierra Leone during the early 1990s, this brutally honest memoir describes Beah’s recruitment by the RUF at age thirteen. As a child soldier who gets hooked on drugs, walks around as the proud carrier of an AK-47 and has lost all sense of humanity – the reader is...


  • Baking Cakes in Kigali

    Set in post-genocide Rwanda, Kigali introduces us to Angel Tungaraza – mother, cake-baker and local shoulder-to-cry-on. Her passion for baking results in a bustling cake business supported by her local community of friends and neighbours. This heart-warming tale tackles disturbing issues (AIDS, female mutilation) while celebrating the endurance of the...


  • In the Time of the Butterflies

    The tyrannical Trujillo government of the 1960s in the Dominican Republic sets the stage for this wonderful story of the three Mirabel sisters (known as ‘the butterflies’) who risked their lives to defy the government. Based on a true story. Perfect for: • Lovers of women’s fiction set in Latin...


  • The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

    When Allan Karlsson decides to avoid his 100th birthday party by climbing out the window of his retirement home, adventure ensues. To say more would be to ruin it. Great for: • Readers who enjoy humerous books with a touch of the bizarre. • Those interested in quirky European books...


  • Alif the Unseen

    Meet Alif: as a brilliant internet hacker in an unnamed Middle Eastern country, he works to protect the government from censoring others unjustly on the web. When an unexpected twist, wrought by a love affair, forces him underground, he encounters the mystical realms of jinnis and the dark side of...


  • The Leopard (Il Gattopardo)

    Enter the world of over-the-top Sicilian nobility: Prince Fabrizio of the Salina family must come to terms with the changing world of Italy’s politics and his family’s aristocratic bearing. Offering historical insight into the Risorgimento, the reunification of Italy, and meditations on class structure and the beginning of the end...