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“Novel” Reading in 2018

by Adam David Morton on December 28, 2018
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Following my annual practice, I have listed my “novel” reading for 2018. This is a way of documenting what I get through in a year’s worth of reading on the commute to work, in the evenings after work, and while travelling on those airplane journeys from/to Sydney outside of my “normal”  academic reading. My use of the term “novel” reading is loosely adopted, as you will see from the list.

I have read so many outstanding books this year that stretch across decolonial politics (Frantz Fanon, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Bruce Pascoe,
Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong’o), feminist classics (Emily Brontë, Barbara Kingslover,  Kate Grenville, Ursula Le Guin) and books that defy the boundaries of categorisation (Silvia Federici, Eduardo Galeano, Andrey Platonov,  Francisco Cantú).

It is impossible to highlight a favourite but with the disappearance of the forty-three Ayotzinapa students revealed by Anabel Hernández, along with the brutal reality of both the Mexican state and the “narcogobierno”, it is that book that carries the set image for this year.

  1. Yuri Slezkine, The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution (Princeton University Press, 2017).
  2. Amor Towles, A Gentleman in Moscow (Penguin, 2017).
  3. Andrey Platonov, The Foundation Pit [Kotlovan, 1930], trans. Robert and Elizabeth Chandler and Olg Meerson (Penguin, 2009).
  4. Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer (Grove Atlantic, 2015).
  5. Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks [Peau Noire, Masques Blancs, 1952], trans. Charles Lam Markmann (Grove Atlantic, 1967).
  6. Andy Merrifield, The New Urban Question (Pluto Press, 2014).
  7. Don Winslow, The Force (Harper Collins, 2017).
  8. John Gibler, I Couldn’t Even Imagine That They Would Kill Us: An Oral History of the Attacks Against the Students of Ayotzinapa, Foreword Ariel Dorfman (City Lights Books, 2017).
  9. Walter Benjamin, The Storyteller: Short Stories (Verso, 2016).
  10. Francisco Cantú, The Line Becomes a River (The Bodley Head, 2018).
  11. Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong’o, A Grain of Wheat [1967] (Heinemann, 1986) [are-read].
  12. Joseph Conrad, Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard [1904], ed. Jacques Berthoud and Mara Kalnins (Oxford University Press, 2007).
  13. Joseph Conrad, Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard [1904], ed. Veronique Paul (Penguin, 2007) [immediate re-read].
  14. Maya Jasanoff, The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World (Penguin, 2017).
  15. Joseph Conrad, The Heart of Darkness [1899], ed. and intro. Owen Knowles (Penguin, 2007) [a re-read].
  16. W.G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn [1995], trans. Michael Hulse (Vintage Books, 1998).
  17. Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights [1847] (Penguin, 2003).
  18. Juan Gabriel Vásquez, The Secret History of Costaguana, trans. Anne McLean (Bloomsbury, 2011).
  19. Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth [Les damnés de la terre, 1961], intro. Jean-Paul Sartre, trans. Constance Farrington (Penguin, 1990) [a re-read].
  20. Don De Lillo, Cosmopolis (Picador, 2004).
  21. W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz, trans. Anthea Bell (Penguin, 2001).
  22. Eduardo Galeano, Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent [Las venas abiertas de América Latina, 1971], trans. Cedric Belfrage (Monthly Review Press, 1997).
  23. Bruce Pascoe, Dark Emu: Aboriginal Australia and the Birth of Agriculture [2014] (Magabala Books, 2018 edition).
  24. Silvia Federici, Witches, Witch-Hunting and Women (PM Press, 2018).
  25. Barbara Kingslover, The Poisonwood Bible (Faber and Faber, 1999).
  26. Anabel Hernández, A Massacre in Mexico: The True Story Behind the Missing Forty-Three Students [La verdadera noche de Iguala. La historia que el gobierno quiso ocultar, 2017] (Verso, 2018).
  27. Ursula Le Guin, The Dispossessed [1974] (Orion Publishing Group, 2001).
  28. Kate Grenville, The Secret River (The Text Publishing Company, 2005).

Adam David Morton
Adam David Morton is Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney. He is author of Unravelling Gramsci: Hegemony and Passive Revolution in the Global Political Economy (2007); Revolution and State in Modern Mexico: The Political Economy of Uneven Development (2011), recipient of the 2012 Book Prize of the British International Studies Association (BISA) International Political Economy Group (IPEG); and co-author of Global Capitalism, Global War, Global Crisis (2018) with Andreas Bieler. He co-edits Progress in Political Economy (PPE) with Gareth Bryant that was the recipient of the 2017 International Studies Association (ISA) Online Media Caucus Award for the Best Blog (Group) and the 2018 International Studies Association (ISA) Online Media Caucus Award for Special Achievement in International Studies Online Media.

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