This bundle includes three books recommended by Daunt bookseller Nellie
Segu by Maryse Condé begins in the eponymous West African kingdom in the eighteenth century, and maps over decades, the fortunes of the noble Traore family across the Atlantic world. It’s an epic story of violence, lust, intrigue and intellectual tension that charts the arrival of Islam, to a Kingdom ravaged by the brutal European slave trade. Condé is the greatest ever writer, and Segu is her masterpiece.
Erika Fatland’s Sovietistan traces her journey across the five Central Asian states. Part political history, part travelogue, Sovietistan addresses the modern fate of the post-Soviet nations with care and attention. From the Pamirs of Tajikistan to the plains of Uzbekistan, Fatland’s anecdotal journey makes me want to climb Lenin Peak and swim in the Caspian Sea.
In the Distance by Hernan Diaz follows Håkan, an enormous Swede, on a journey across Gold Rush America in search for his brother. It’s a beautifully written novel about adventure, solitude and determination. As Jack would say, it reads like a thriller.