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Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar
The Time Regulation Institute

The novel, by writer and literary historian Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar (1901-1962) is considered one of the most meaningful works of modern Turkish literature and offers a satirical glimpse into the processes of modernization during the transition from the Ottoman Empire to the Republic of Turkey. 

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R.F. Kuang
Babel

In the Old Testament, the story of The Tower of Babel is told: in reaction to the hubris of humankind, God spreads people across the world and muddles up their languages. The barriers to understanding thus become the penalty for humankind’s hubris. R. F. Kuang’s Babel takes place in a similar time of human arrogance: in 1836, Oxford – with its fictive Royal Institute for Translation, informally known as Babel – is at the centre of the British Empire.

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Meera Syal
Anita and Me

In Meera Syal’s semi-autobiographical novel, Meena Kumar is the only Indian girl in the former British mining village of Tollington. While her parents wait in vain for their daughter’s sudden and definitive metamorphosis into the model Indian girl, all Meena wants is to be a Tollington wench.

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Mirrianne Mahn
Issa

Issa, who lives in Frankfurt am Main, is pregnant and desperate. The situation with her child’s father is complicated as is with her mother. No longer knowing what to do, and at the urging of her mother, she flies to see her grandmother and great-grandmother in Cameroon.

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Aimé Césaire
Cahier d’un retour au pays natal

Cahier d’un retour au pays natal by Aimé Césaire blows up literary and political categories: it is a long poem, but at times it reads like a manifesto; it describes the journey and the search for identity of a young man from Martinique, has autobiographical features, and yet is also a journey into the past that recalls, among other things, the transatlantic slave trade.

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Lene Albrecht
White Spots

Lena Albrecht’s novel Weiße Flecken (‘White Spots’ in English) is an excellent example of a critical examination of one’s own whiteness. The novel shows how a young white woman gets the impetus to question the typical narration of German history, takes her newly acquired perspective personally and deals with the entanglements of her own family.

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Diane Oliver
Neighbours and Other Stories

There is perhaps no other art form that makes time travel so vividly possible as literature. In Diane Oliver’s collection of short stories Neighbours and other stories, we are in the USA of the 1960s, a decade known for protest and political upheaval. The so-called racial segregation. which determines everyday life in the USA, especially in the southern […]

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