Posts Tagged ‘paris’

More Great Expat Reads

Chantal Panozzo
  • By Chantal Panozzo
  • August 25th, 2010

moonlight-1by Chantal Panozzo

As a writer abroad, I like to read books written by other expats because I find they usually share a unique perspective on the world. I’m a big fan of memoir, but lately there have also been some good works of fiction written by Americans abroad, particularly by expats living in Paris. An inspiring location? Perhaps.

A few months back, I wrote Great Books to Read as an Expat but if you’re like me and devour about a book a week thanks to plentiful train rides, you’ve already read them all. So here are a few more you might want to consider adding to your collection.

Moonlight in Odessa by Janet Skeslien Charles. Charles’ funny debut novel is set in the Eastern European country of Ukraine and explores the wonderful world of mail-order brides. The main character, Daria, is particularly endearing, especially when she goes to live in the United States as a mail-order bride herself. Daria defines the U.S. as crazy place where the people are rich but dress like they’re poor—a statement only an expat author could probably allow her character to come up with. Bonus—the book comes out in paperback in the United States on September 1.

Kitchen Chinese by Ann Mah. What happens when an American girl (who happens to have Chinese heritage) goes to live in China to find herself? She can’t. She has trouble fitting in—perhaps because she looks Chinese but isn’t. Kitchen Chinese is an interesting debut novel that explores both identity and culture, from a writer who has experienced the complexities of both.

Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez. When an American woman goes to Afghanistan to open a beauty school, she is quickly in demand from both Westerners looking for a perm and also from local Afghan women, who want to learn how to open their own beauty salons, one of the few businesses acceptable for women to run in this middle-eastern nation. The book explores love, friendship, freedom, and what they could possibly have in common with a good haircut.

Have you read any great books lately?

Chantal Panozzo is a writer in Switzerland who has written for a variety of publications on two continents. She’s the author of One Big Yodel, a blog about life in Switzerland and moving abroad, and also discusses living abroad as a freelancer at Writer Abroad.

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