Ernest J. Gaines. A Lesson Before Dying
The story begins with the murder of Mr. Grope by two black men. An innocent bystander named Jefferson is charged with and convicted of the murder. He is sentenced to death. Jefferson’s godmother ask Grant Wiggins, the local schoolteacher, to turn Jefferson from a ‘hog’ to a ‘man’. Over the course of the novel, Grant and Jefferson form a close friendship. The novels ends with Jefferson’s execution a visit from Paul in which he tells that ‘Jefferson was the strongest man in that crowded room’ when he was executed.
Mario Levrero. El Lugar
El Lugar by the Uruguayan writer Mario Levrero seems like a rendezvous between Satre’s ‘No Exit’ and Kafka’s ‘The Castle’. It is an intensely cinematic novel about a man who wakes up in a room that is unfamiliar to him. He then realizes that the room he woke up in is only surrounded by absolutely identical copies of the very same room which are all accessible in one direction only.
Michael Muhammad Knight. Taqwacore
Taqwacore mixes together sex, dope and religion. In a muslim punk house in Buffalo New York, burqa-wearing riot girls, mohawked Sufis, straightedge Sunnis, Shi’a skinheads, Indonesian skaters, Sudanese rude boys, gay Muslims, drunk Muslims, and feminists host parties and prayers in devotion to an Islamo-punk subculture. Originally self-published on photocopiers and spiral-bound by hand, The Taqwacores is taught in various universities as a ‘Catcher in the Rye’ for young Muslims.
Alfred Jarry. Exploits and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, Pataphysician (Gestes et opinions du docteur Faustroll pataphysicien: Roman néo-scientifique suivi de Spéculations)
A novel by French Symbolist author Alfred Jarry which influenced Surrealism, it features Doctor Faustroll a scientist who is born in 1898 in Circassia at the age of 63, and who dies the same year at the same age.