Virtual International Literature Book Club

  • Posted on: 31 May 2019
  • By: TanyaMills

Join us on Zoom for now to discuss recent works written by foreign authors. Expand your literary sensibilities! If you're interested, click on the registration link below to receive an invitation with the joining link to participate. We generally meet every third Wednesday evening of the month. Please either order your books here online or call the store at 435-619-8200 to special order copies. (If you are interested in some of our past titles, scroll down to the bottom to access PDFs of lists from prior years.)





JANUARY - “The Art of Hearing Heartbeats” by Jan-Philipp Sendker (1/31/2012) 352 pages; $17.95 - When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be...until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago, to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father's past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the reader's belief in the power of love to move mountains. (The first in a series…Burma)


FEBRUARY - “The Vanished Collection” by Pauline Baer di Perignon (1/11/2022) 256 pages; $17.95 - A charmingly told account of a woman's quest to reconstruct her great-grandfather's art collection that leads her not only to the restitution of looted works, but also to a profound and touching recognition of her family's wartime odyssey and her own place in their myriad generations. (France…author will join) [NOTE: We're holding this meeting at 11:30 AM (MST) to accommodate the time difference between the author and our group]


MARCH - “A Single Rose” by Muriel Barbery (9/28/2021) 160 pages; $22.00 - At forty, Rose gets a call from a lawyer asking her to come to Kyoto for the reading of her estranged father's will. For the first time in her life, she finds herself in Japan, where Paul, her father's assistant, is waiting to greet her. As Paul guides Rose along a mysterious itinerary designed by her deceased father, and she meets acquaintances of her father, she slowly begins to accept a part of herself she has never before acknowledged. (Japan)


APRIL - “The Pastor” by Hanne Ørstavik (10/19/2021) 280 pages; $20.00 - Liv, an intense and probing theologian, moves to a fishing village in the north of Norway to take up a post as the church’s new pastor following the death of her dearest friend, Kristiane. In the upper rooms of a large house overlooking the fjord, Liv plans her sermons and studies the violent interplay of Norway’s Christian colonial past. (Norway)


MAY - "Song for the Missing" by Pierre Jarawan (4/5/2022) 464 pages; $19.99 - It's 2011 and the Arab Spring is in full bloom when the discovery of two bodies in Beirut sows the first seeds of unrest in Lebanon. With houses already burning, Amin sets out to write down his memories of the country: Of the year 1994, when he returned as a teenager with his grandmother, twelve years after his parents' deaths. Of his friendship with Jafar, the boy who explored the desolate postwar landscape with him. And of the painful discovery that there will never be certainty--neither about his friend's past or his family's history. In this novel full of mystery and suspense, friendship and loss, searches and secrets, Jarawan skillfully interweaves a deeply personal story with the tumultuous history of the Middle East; and "Beirut 2020: Diary of the Collapse" by Charif Majdalani (8/3/2021) 192 pages; $14.99 - Told in elegant, evocative prose, a devastating and necessary testament to the August explosion that thoughtfully examines the crises that preceded it and its aftermath. At the start of the summer of 2020, in a Lebanon ruined by economic crisis and political corruption, in an exhausted Beirut still rising up for true democracy while the world was paralyzed by the coronavirus, Charif Majdalani set about writing a journal. ( Pierre Jarawan will join) [NOTE: We're holding this meeting at 11:30 AM (MST) to accommodate the time difference between the author and our group]


JUNE - "Thin Places" by Kerri ní Dochartaigh (4/12/2022) 240 pages; $25.00 - Both a celebration of the natural world and a memoir of one family's experience during the Troubles, Thin Places is a gorgeous braid of "two strands, one wondrous and elemental, the other violent and unsettling, sustained by vividly descriptive prose" (The Guardian) ( will join) [NOTE: We're holding this meeting at 10:30 AM (MST) to accommodate the time difference between the author and our group]


JULY - “The Spanish Daughter” by Lorena Hughes (12/28/2021) 304 pages; $15.95 - As a child in Spain, Puri always knew her passion for chocolate was inherited from her father. But it's not until his death that she learns of something else she's inherited--a cocoa plantation in Vinces, Ecuador, a town nicknamed "Paris Chiquito." Eager to claim her birthright and filled with hope for a new life after the devastation of WWI, she and her husband Cristóbal set out across the Atlantic Ocean. But it soon becomes clear, someone is angered by Puri's claim to the plantation. (Ecuador)


AUGUST - “Fencing with the King” by Diana Abu-Jaber (3/15/2022) 320 pages; $26.95 - Amani is hooked on a mystery--a poem on airmail paper that slips out of one of her father's books. It seems to have been written by her grandmother, a refugee who arrived in Jordan during the First World War. Soon the perfect occasion to investigate arises: her Uncle Hafez, an advisor to the King of Jordan, invites her father to celebrate the king's sixtieth birthday--and to fence with the king, as in their youth. Her father has avoided returning to his homeland for decades, but Amani persuades him to come with her. Uncle Hafez will make their time in Jordan complicated--and dangerous--after Amani discovers a missing relative and is launched into a journey of loss, history, and, eventually, a fight for her own life. (Jordan)


SEPTEMBER - “The Anomaly” by Hervé Le Tellier (11/23/2021) 400 pages; $16.99 Winner of the Prix Goncourt, this dizzying literary page-turner ingeniously blends crime, fantasy, sci-fi, and thriller as it plumbs the mysteries surrounding a Paris-New York flight. In June 2021, a senseless event upends the lives of hundreds of men and women, all passengers on a flight from Paris to New York. (France)


OCTOBER - "The Marmalade Diaries" by Ben Aitken (6/14/2022); $27.00 - While hunting for a room in London, Ben Aitken came across one for a great price in a lovely part of town. There had to be a catch. And there was. The catch was Winnie: an 85-year-old widow who doesn't suffer fools. Full of warmth, wit and candor, The Marmalade Diaries tells the story of an unlikely friendship built during an unlikely time. One of the pair, a grieving aristocrat in her mid-eighties. The other? A millennial snowflake. What could possibly go wrong? What could possibly go right? Out of the most inauspicious of soils - and from the author of The Gran Tour - comes a book about grief, family, friendship, loneliness, life, love, lockdown and marmalade. (Great will join) [NOTE: We're holding this meeting at 10:30 AM (MST) to accommodate the time difference between the author and our group]


NOVEMBER - “Peach Blossom Paradise” by Ge Fei (12/8/2020) 392 pages; $17.95 - A meditation on revolution, idealism, and utopia by one of China's greatest living novelists. In 1898, China experienced one hundred days of utopia, after a cabal of reformist intellectuals persuaded the young emperor to enact sweeping changes intended to modernize the country and bring about the "Great Unity." Their movement ended in blood and the crowning of two more dictators, but not before it whetted an appetite for revolution all across the country. (China)


DECEMBER - “When We Were Birds” by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo (3/1/2022) 304 pages; $27.00 - A mythic love story set in contemporary Trinidad & Tobago about two young outsiders brought together by their connection with the dead. (Trinidad and Tobago)



Alternates to consider for 2023

“Fresh Water for Flowers” by Valérie Perrin (5/4/2021) 496 pages; $16.95 - Violette Toussaint is the caretaker at a cemetery in a small town in Bourgogne. Her life is lived to the predictable rhythms of the often funny, always moving confidences that casual mourners, regular visitors, and sundry colleagues share with her. Violette's routine is disrupted one day by the arrival of Julien Sole--local police chief--who has come to scatter the ashes of his recently deceased mother on the gravesite of a complete stranger. It soon becomes clear that Julien's inexplicable gesture is intertwined with Violette's own complicated past. (France)


“Country of Origin” by Dalia Azim (3/15/2022) 320 pages; $16.95 - Seventeen-year-old Halah Ibrahim has always known a privileged life and never had cause to question it until Cairo goes up in flames. Not only does she start to doubt her father and his role in the new military-backed government--but she ultimately decides to flee to America with a young soldier she hardly knows, an impulsive act that has far-reaching consequences on both sides of the ocean. A powerful and universal debut novel about family, identity, and independence, Country of Origin is as much about a nation's coming-of-age as it is about secrets and lies, love and truth. (Egypt)


“His Name Was Death” by Rafael Bernal (11/2/2021) 144 pages; $15.95 - A bitter drunk forsakes civilization and takes to the Mexican jungle, trapping animals, selling their pelts to buy liquor for colossal benders, and slowly rotting away in his fetid hut. His neighbors, a clan of the Lacandon tribe of Chiapas, however, see something more in him than he does himself. When he falls deathly ill, a shaman named Black Ant saves his life. Slowly recovering, weak in his hammock, our antihero discovers a curious thing about the moquitoes' buzzing, which may, in fact, constitute a language he might learn. Slowly, he masters Mosquil, with astonishing consequences. (Mexico)


“I Was a French Muslim: Memories of an Algerian Freedom Fighter” by Mokhtar Mokhtefi (9/21/2021) 448 pages; $26.99 - A vivid account of a childhood under French colonization and a life dedicated to fighting for the freedom and dignity of the Algerian people. The son of a butcher and the youngest of six siblings, Mokhtar Mokhtefi was born in 1935 . . . In 1957, at age twenty-two, he joined the National Liberation Army (ALN), the armed wing of the National Liberation Front (FLN) that had been waging war against France since 1954. (Algeria)


“In the Shadow of the Yali” by Suat Dervis (9/14/2021) 336 pages; $17.99 - This 1940's Turkish classic - translated for the first time into English - holds all the beauty of “Anna Karenina” with all the feminist power and fury of “The Second Sex.” (Turkey)


*If you are interested in buying any of the above titles, either to participate in the book club or for your own pleasure and enlightenment, please order below or put your order in at our cash counter in person or over the phone. In case we encounter difficulties ordering any of the above titles, we will select others as needed.

**For lists of past picks, plus some other recommended titles for 2022, please see the attached PDF documents below.

Event date: 
Wednesday, July 20, 2022 - 7:30pm
Wednesday, August 17, 2022 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
Zoom Online
St. George, UT 84770-4087
The Art of Hearing Heartbeats: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781590514634
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Other Press - January 31st, 2012

The Vanished Collection Cover Image
ISBN: 9781939931986
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New Vessel Press - January 11th, 2022

A Single Rose Cover Image
By Muriel Barbery, Alison Anderson (Translator)
ISBN: 9781609456771
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Europa Editions - September 28th, 2021

The Pastor Cover Image
By Hanne Orstavik, Martin Aitken (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781953861085
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Archipelago - October 19th, 2021

The Spanish Daughter: A Gripping Historical Novel Perfect for Book Clubs Cover Image
ISBN: 9781496736246
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Kensington - December 28th, 2021

Fencing with the King: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393867718
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 15th, 2022

The Anomaly: A Novel Cover Image
By Hervé Le Tellier, Adriana Hunter (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781635421699
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Other Press - November 23rd, 2021

Country of Origin Cover Image
ISBN: 9781646051526
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Strange Object - April 12th, 2022

Peach Blossom Paradise Cover Image
By Ge Fei, Canaan Morse (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781681374703
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: NYRB Classics - December 8th, 2020

In the Shadow of the Yali: A Novel Cover Image
By Suat Dervis, Maureen Freely (Translated by)
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781590510414
Published: Other Press - September 14th, 2021

Beirut 2020: Diary of the Collapse Cover Image
By Charif Majdalani, Ruth Diver (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781635421781
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Other Press - August 3rd, 2021

When We Were Birds: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385547260
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - March 15th, 2022

Fresh Water for Flowers Cover Image
ISBN: 9781609456764
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Europa Editions - May 4th, 2021

His Name was Death Cover Image
By Rafael Bernal, Kit Schluter (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780811230834
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions - November 16th, 2021

I Was a French Muslim: Memories of an Algerian Freedom Fighter Cover Image
By Mokhtar Mokhtefi, Elaine Mokhtefi (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781635421804
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Other Press - September 21st, 2021

Song for the Missing Cover Image
ISBN: 9781642861075
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: World Editions - April 5th, 2022

Thin Places Cover Image
ISBN: 9781571311955
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Milkweed Editions - April 12th, 2022

The Marmalade Diaries: The True Story of an Odd Couple Cover Image
ISBN: 9781785789021
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Icon Books - June 14th, 2022