The more than 1,700 books in the candidate list for The Well-Read Man Project show a definite bias toward Western works. Since Westerners selected the candidates for consumption by other Westerners, this isn’t surprising. Fortunately, these source lists recognized the value of writings from other cultures.
While non-Western books show up throughout the final list of fifty, this section includes works that specifically address concerns outside of America and Western Europe. (Click on a book to access its detail page.)
by Natsume Soseki
The Bridge on the Drina
by Ivo Andrić
One Hundred Years of Solitude
by Gabriel García Márquez
by Salman Rushdie
Kokoro takes place during Japan’s Meiji Transformation. The Bridge on the Drina tells the story of a bridge currently located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, an nation that has gone through several boundary and political name changes during the 400 years covered in the book. One Hundred Years of Solitude also covers a long time span, this time in Columbia. Midnight’s Children, a story of India’s move to independence, is one of many “postcolonial” books that appeared in the candidate list.