It’s Canada Day! And Monday is Independence Day. Fireworks, festivals, good food, and fun in the sun. That’s what we think of for both holidays. But many of us just want to enjoy a book. Most readers of this blog are from the USA or Canada, so we hear about authors from North America all the time. But what about the rest of the world?
I have to be honest: I’m not the type of person to pay much attention to the details of an author’s life. Mostly I just know the name of the book and the name of the author, so it’s difficult to come up with any right off the top of my head that wouldn’t be totally obvious, like, say, J.K. Rowling or Neil Gaiman. I’m sure I’ve probably read tons of non-North-American authors’ stuff, but I just don’t have the kind of brain that remembers names and birthplaces and the like. 😄 That said, Happy Canada Day!
I always recommend Julian May, because she’s one of my favorite authors (Saga of Pliocene Exile). I think Neil Gaiman is a fantastic writer as well – a great craftsman. I’m just starting to delve into his books.
Well, I think most of my non-American reading is in the form of Japanese manga, which might not be what you’re going for, but my absolute favorite manga is Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa. As for novelists, I am going to run off to Goodreads to see where the people I read actually come from… Aha! For recommendation purposes, I would pick Kate Griffin (the urban fantasy pseudonym of Brit Catherine Webb), followed by Garth Nix of Australia. I also think Karen Traviss (of the UK) has some great original sci-fi that gets overshadowed by her Star Wars and other franchise books. And of course there’s Erica Dakin, my British partner in (fantasy) crime.
The best one I’ve read (to my knowledge) would have to be the highly popular Haruki Murakami. If magical realism might be your shindig, Murakami’s gotacha covered.
Well, I’m rather fond of Iain M. Banks and Alastair Reynolds. Anne McCaffrey sort of counts as non-American also.
I’d like to be familiar with authors from enough different countries to give a wider variety of answers, but I’m not so I’m going to say Douglas Adams, Philip Pullman, and Neil Gaiman, who are all British.
Let’s go outside the box with Jo Raven from Cyprus, shall we?
I’ve recently been introduced to the Strugatsky Brothers’ work. (Yes, I know, I’m a chronic late adopter.) Fell in love with the style in Roadside Picnic and felt it ended too soon. And on the other side of the fantasy/sci-fi spectrum, I’ve always been fond of Homer’s epics.
I’m drawing a complete blank on any authors whose nationality is not American or Canadian. The only two I can think of are my two favorites. One is British Author JK Rowling. I started reading Harry Potter from the time the first book was published. I was immediately hooked. I’m currently reading them with my son and he’s as hooked as I was, though he’s only 9 and I was in university when I first opened them. The second is one book that I’ve read multiple times. I even wrote in it, taking notes as I went so I could go back and really understand it. The Book Thief by Australian author Markus Zusak. His book “I Am the Messenger” is its equal. This book really opened my eyes to alternative endings.
I tend to read a lot of British authors. Some of my favourites include science fiction authors Alastair Reynolds (Revelation Space) and Peter F. Hamilton (Night’s Dawn), as well as fantasy authors Terry Pratchett (Discworld) and J. R. R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings). Outside of the UK, I haven’t actually read much. But this is something I plan to change.
How about you?
What are some authors you recommend from outside of the USA and Canada? Let us know in the comments below.