After completing a great book, sometimes it's hard to find a satisfying follow
up. Let us help. Each of our "further reading" pages provides a
number of knowledgeable recommendations for what to read after you've enjoyed
one of our bestsellers.
YOUR NEXT BOOK ONE OF THE FOLLOWING...
Fall Apart by Chinua
Chinua Achebe's internationally acclaimed novel was among the first stories
about the colonial period in Africa to be told from the view of the colonized.
His portrayal of Nigeria before British and Christian involvement is unsentimental,
yet vivid enough to make recognizable the decay brought about by colonialism,
revealing both the internal and external factors that bring human beings to
ruin.Kingsolver echoes Achebe's intimate investigation of personal responsibility.
Okonkwo's personal defeat, intertwined with that of his tribe, reminds readers
that collapse of the soul, though often aided by the external, is accomplished
the Secret of Joy by Alice
Bitter threads connect this book to Kingsolver's novel. In Possessing
the Secret of Joy, African heroine Tashi-Evelyn Johnson attempts to preserve
her Olinka culture by undergoing ritual female circumcision. Though her body
survives the bloody practice, she spends the rest of her days grappling with
madness. Walker's indictment of misogyny, enslavement, and the collaboration
of women against their own daughters is intimately voiced as Tashi and her
family tell her story.
Heart of Darkness by Joseph
One of the great classic novels of the past hundred years is also set
in the Belgian Congo. In Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad leads readers down-river
to the most desperate places of the unkempt soul. Though cultural ignorance
exists within Conrad's characters, the implication is crueler and far more
brutal than Kingsolver's later presentation of misguided colonists. Depravity
and isolation from the familiar form an unholy union in both stories, but
this one was first to explore the link.
King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa
If Kingsolver's novel has piqued your interest in Africa's colonial history,
King Leopold's Ghost makes an excellent nonfiction counterpart. King
Leopold put the horror in Conrad's (and later Marlon Brando's) famous line:
"the horror, the horror." In the late nineteenth century, no European
power could claim any importance without at least a small African colony to
show for itself. Not wanting to be left behind, King Leopold of Belgium laid
claim to a large section of the African continent that for many decades was
known as the Belgian Congo. In the years from 1885 until Leopold's death in
1909, Leopold's mercenary army meted out sadistic punishments in order to
create a massive slave workforce for his mines and rubber plantations. King
Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa
is Adam Hochschild's grim chronicle of colonial ambition run amuck.
Son's Story by Nadine
Segregated South Africa is both the backdrop and subject of Nadine Gordimer's
exploration of deceit. Fans of Kingsolver will appreciate Gordimer's intimate
storytelling as she connects the tumultuous South African political climate
with personal betrayal and marital infidelity. Will's father Sonny is a local
political hero of mixed race. When the boy discovers his father's affair with
a white human rights activist, Will and Sonny's relationship changes, opening
a world of deception, loneliness and pain. Though presented through the perspective
of the son, Gordimer's exploration of the struggle to be free works on many
levels and is all the more meaningful within the larger context of South Africa's