Dartmouth Faculty Suggest Good Reads for Winter



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This winter, set aside time to put your feet up, grab a blanket, and dive into one of the books recommended by 13 Dartmouth professors.

From Tokyo, Associate Professor of Government Jennifer Lind selects The Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki, while from his Sanborn office, Associate Professor of English J. Martin Favor recommends a novel whose protagonist is “Not Sidney” Poitier. Associate Professor of History Richard Kremer suggests a way to “brush up your Aristotle,” and Professor of Government William Wohlforth writes that Redeployment, by Phil Klay ’05, is “testimony to the power of fiction to teach and explain.”

Whatever you select, may it warm your soul this winter.

Associate Professor of Comparative Literature Ayo Coly recommends the novel We Need New Names, by NoViolet Bulawayo. (Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69)

Ayo Coly, an associate professor of comparative literature, recommends We Need New Names, by NoViolet Bulawayo.

“I highly recommend NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names. The novel is set in Harare, Zimbabwe, and Detroit, Mich. It offers a cynical, unsettling, and comical look at the economic and political dysfunction of Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe through the eyes of 10-year old Darling and her friends, Bastard, Godknows, Chipo, Stina, and Sbho. The mischievous gang lives in a shantytown called ‘Paradise.’ The famished friends routinely raid the affluent neighborhood of ‘Budapest’ for guavas and play games like ‘Find Bin Laden.’ With Darling’s subsequent move to ‘Destroyedmichygen’ (Detroit, Mich.) where ‘school is so easy even a donkey would pass,’ and eating the local corn is a ‘disappointing thing; it feels like I’m just insulting my teeth,’ the novel delves into immigration politics in the USA, the overall precariousness of immigrant life, and failed American dreams.

“Bulawayo has a way with words: every word is on point and every sentence is brilliantly composed. The novel stands as an incisive commentary on neoliberal globalization, international NGOs, failed African states, immigration, and class and race in the United States,” Coly says.

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