Without a doubt, books define a country. Local literature says so much about a nation’s history, culture, victories, and fears. For a concrete example, Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo both defined and shaped Filipino history. In case you were wondering what novels shaped other countries’ identities, look no further. Reddit user Backforward24 created a sweeping literature map of the world and it is glorious.
Check it out below:
Of course, the Philippines has Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere.
Some notable novels are Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird for the US, L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables for Canada, Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace for Russia, Cao Xueqin’s Dream of the Red Chamber for China, and Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables for France. While these are no-brainers (though we’re sure there will be many who will contest these), it’s interesting to note the literary classics of other countries, such as Hisham Matar’s In Country of Men for Libya, Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet for Australia, Andrey Kurkov’s Death and the Penguin for Ukraine, and Narayan Wagle’s Palpasa Cafe for Nepal.
The literary map is a wonderful way to explore the world without having to leave the Philippines, or even your bed.
For a high-resolution version, check out this page.
Which books have you read? Share it below!
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