Favourite books of 2017, by @saramsalem

Cross-posted from: Neocolonial Thoughts
Originally published: 08.12.17

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This year has been the year of fiction. Mostly because it was an especially intense year in terms of work, and when I find myself overwhelmed with academic reading, writing, and teaching, I find fiction a much-needed way of relaxing. There are two fiction books I am currently making my way through which I hope to finish before the end of the year, but I haven’t added them to the list; one is Pachinko by Min Jin Lee and the other is 4321 by Paul Aster (1200 pages!) Pachinko in particular is just stunning, and it’ll be a painful one to say good 

I had big dreams to buy the Neapolitan novels in paperback (only have them on Kindle at the moment) and read them over the summer, but I couldn’t find the time. I did manage to re-read Ahdaf Souief’s In the Eye of the Sun at the start of the year, for the fifth or sixth time. I’m so in love with this book; I could read and re-read it endlessly.

Anyhow, here are my favourite books of 2017!

  • Cruel Optimism – Lauren Berlant
  • Monstrous Intimacies – Christina Sharpe
  • Industrial Sexuality – Hanan Hammad
  • In Other Words – Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Third World Protest: Between Home and the World – Rahul Rao
  • Femonationalism: In the Name of Women’s Rights – Sara Farris
  • The Namesake – Jhumpa Lahiri
  • The Arabic Freud – Omnia el Shakry
  • The Language of the Night – Ursula Le Guin
  • A Prehistory of the Cloud – Tung-Hui Hu

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  • Familiar Stranger – Stuart Hall
  • Human Acts – Han Kang
  • The Ministry of Utmost Happiness – Arundhati Roy
  • The Idea of the Muslim World – Cemil Aydin
  • Economies of Abandonment: Social Belonging and Endurance in Late Liberalism – Elizabeth Povinelli
  • Names of the Lion – Ibn Khalawayh, David Larsen
  • Interpreter of Maladies – Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Ottoman Tulips, Ottoman Coffee: Leisure and Lifestyle in the Eighteenth Century – Dana Sajdi
  • This Census Taker – China Mielville
  • Strange Weather in Tokyo – Hiromi Kawakami

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  • The Return – Hisham Matar
  • Living a Feminist Life – Sara Ahmed
  • The Calcutta Chromosome – Amitav Ghosh
  • La Frantumaglia – Elena Ferrante
  • His Bloody Project – Graeme Macrae Burnet
  • Swing Time – Zadie Smith
  • Hitler’s American Model – James Whitman
  • Eileen – Ottessa Moshfegh
  • Last Utopia: Human Rights in History – Samuel Moyn
  • The Mushroom at the End of the World – Anna Tsing

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Neo-Colonialism and it’s Discontents : A blog by Sara Salem on Postcolonialism, Marxism, feminism and other conspiracies.  Twitter: @saramsalem

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