Authors’ Picks: Reading lists from World Voices Festival authors

I’ve chosen five books that make it easier for me to navigate culture and history in times, if I may make such a comparison, of limited visibility. These books are quite varied, but they share two qualities that by no means must go hand-in-hand, though they do here—each is simultaneously wise and dazzling, a very rare combination. There are many wise books that are sluggish and boring, and many that are also dazzling, while at the same time, empty and trivial. But here, whether in the aphorisms of Rouchefoucauld, the essays of Sontag, the short stories of O’Connor or the two great treatises that open this list, we can draw comfort from the author’s wisdom and also enjoy the sparkling elegance of their argument.
—Szczepan Twardoch (Translated by Sean Gasper Bye)