Discrimination / Prejudice / Injustice - Level 2

As the earth turns silver / Alison Wong
“If you want to fulfil your dreams, you will have to work relentlessly. At least twice as hard as any man. You must find within yourself the necessary determination, the will and the wisdom. And you must also cultivate intelligence of the heart.”
This quotation from the New Zealand Book Awards Fiction Category Winner, Alison Wong's novel As the Earth Turns Silver, is advice given by a wise woman to a girl who is heading off to medical school in the year 1914, when girls did not usually do such things. Change one word, "man" to "European," and it could apply just as aptly to the main protagonist of this book, a Chinese man, Wong Chung-yung, who arrived in Wellington at the age of 18 in 1896.
This is a story with two threads -- the status of women and the status of Chinese in early 20th century New Zealand.


The color purple / Alice Walker

Jumpstart the world / Catherine Ryan Hyde

Beloved / Toni Morrison

The hunchback of Notre Dame / Victor Hugo

To kill a mockingbird / Harper Lee

The kite runner / Khaled Hosseini

Lord of the flies / William Golding

A many splendoured thing / Han Suyin
(from the cover blurb) “A love story which transcends the cultural and political gulf between East & West. –“

Obasan / Joy Kogawa
This is about how Japanese citizens of Canada were treated during the second world war after war was declared on Japan. Very moving, with relevant newspaper articles at the back. This policy was previously unknown to me. Told from the perspective of a Japanese girl. Very well written. Massey has used it as a text for one English paper.

The power of one / Bryce Courtenay

Q and A: Slumdog millionaire / Vikas Swarup

The reluctant fundamentalist / Mohsin Hamid

The sand fish / Maha Gargash

Secret life of bees / Sue Monk Kidd

Small island / Andrea Levy
Returning to England after the war, Jamaican Gilbert Joseph is treated very differently now that he is no longer in an RAF uniform. Joined by his wife Hortense, he rekindles a friendship with Queenie who takes in Jamaican lodgers. Can their dreams of a better life in England overcome the prejudice they face?

Snow falling on Cedars / David Guterson
A Japanese-American fisherman may have killed his neighbour Carl at sea. In the 1950's, race figures in the trial. Looks at the treatment of Japanese living in America during the war. Also made into a movie.

A thousand splendid suns / Khaled Hosseini

The unusual life of Tristan Smith / Peter Carey
(from the cover blurb) “Severely afflicted, doomed never to be taller than three foot six, Tristan Smith faces death and danger from he first moment of his energetic and ambitious life-“
Vigil / Nadia Wheatley
This suspense narrative mirrors the fractured state of memory, and moves between past and present while engaging with some of big issues of our time: legacies of history, effects of prejudice, allure of danger.

The crucible / Arthur Miller
The story of how the small community of Salem is stirred into madness by superstition, paranoia and malice, culminating in a violent climax, is a savage attack on the evils of mindless persecution and the terrifying power of false accusations.

Black like me / John Howard Griffin

My left foot / Christy Brown

Not without my daughter / Betty Mahmoody