23 Oct 2016

The New Torchlight List: Africa

From Sunday Morning, 8:40 am on 23 October 2016
Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Photo: Flickr.com / The Aspen Institute

Jim agrees with Wallace's love for Disgrace, by South African writer J.M. Coetzee - though Jim says Coetzee's "not brilliant".

He describes the Cairo trilogy by Egyptian Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz as "a landmark work".

Jim recommends Somalian writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali "for an unparalleled insight into what Islam means for those who interpret the Koran literally". She was subjected to female circumcision at the age of five and over the years turned away from Islam.

Jim tells Wallace about the value of entering another culture in a novel: "You only know what human nature is capable of if you read what's happened to it in a variety of societies."