Most Influential Books Survey

onehundredFor celebrating their 25 year anniversary, the international magazine Wasafari conducted an international survey of the most influential books of the past quarter-century.

Toping the list is Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, which was the only novel chosen by three international writers. One of the authors who chose the book stated, “”[It] taught the west how to read a reality alternative to their own, which in turn opened the gates for other non-western writers like myself and other writers from Africa and Asia… Apart from the fact that it’s an amazing book, it taught western readers tolerance for other perspectives.”

Salman Rushdie made the list twice for The Satanic Verses and Midnight’s Children. And I was personally very pleasantly surprised to see Allen Ginsberg’s Collected Poems!

The Wasafiri list:
1 Aminatta Forna: The Famished Road by Ben Okri
2 Amit Chaudhuri: Collected Poems by Elizabeth Bishop
3 Bernardine Evaristo: Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain by Peter Fryer
4 Beverley Naidoo: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D Taylor
5 Blake Morrison: The Stories of Raymond Carver by Raymond Carver
6 Brian Chikwava: The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño
7 Chika Unigwe: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
8 Daljit Nagra: North by Seamus Heaney
9 David Dabydeen: A House for Mr Biswas by VS Naipaul
10 Elaine Feinstein: Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes
11 Fred D’Aguiar: Palace of the Peacock by Wilson Harristhe_satanic_verses2
12 Hirsh Sawhney: River of Fire by Quarratulain Hyder
13 Indra Sinha: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
14 John Haynes: Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein
15 Lesley Lokko: Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
16 Maggie Gee: Disgrace by JM Coetzee
17 Marina Warner: Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
18 Maya Jaggi: The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
19 Michael Horovitz: Collected Poems by Allen Ginsberg
20 Minoli Salgado: Anil’s Ghost by Michael Ondaatje
21 Nii Parkes: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
22 Roger Robinson: Sula by Toni Morrison
23 Sujata Bhatt: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
24 Sukhdev Sandhu: The Private Life of Chairman Mao by Dr Li Zhisui
25 Tabish Khair: The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

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