Susheila Nasta’s top ten books to take you travelling

By Wasafiri Editor on January 18, 2009 in Articles

Wasafiri Editor, Susheila Nasta, selected her top ten books for the Guardian in 2009.

‘The tragic-comic creation of a black city of words that was both magnet and nightmare for its new colonial citizens is a must.’ ‘An intimate African-American
classic which looks forward to
Morrison’s award-winning novel, Beloved.’
‘Delicately interweaving a series of interconnected histories of diaspora and … dislocation, this haunting story takes us from [a] tortured childhood in pre-war Berlin to Calcutta and Bombay.’ ‘A story about loss and redemption, trauma and memory, [which] leads us through a maze of uncanny dialogues. An inconsolable Holocaust history… a major chronicle of our times.’
‘Set in East Africa a decade before the first world war, this novel is a feast of luminous storytelling.’ ‘A hybrid mix of fiction, politics and journalism, populated by strong female figures who are transported beyond its confining patriarchal history.’
‘It may be a surprise that two centuries ago London was at the heart of the opium trade … This previously untold story … exposes the histories of all who were drawn into the corrupt politics of this lucrative business.’ ‘A powerful and hypnotic prose poem which plunges us into the world of an illiterate Antiguan taxi driver whose mundane existence is defined by absence and loss.’
‘There are many stories about fathers and sons, about childhood friendships and betrayals, but few set in Afghanistan during the time of the Soviet invasion, and few so moving.’ ‘Fast-moving, witty, humorous and above all inventive, we are taken on a journey through the streets of a London which has long had a diverse history.’