I read a lot and every now and then I get to talk to someone about books I am reading or books they are reading, but this only happens every now and then.
Today a conversation about books happened. One of my students came to class early and we got talking about how different Mongolia might be today if Hitler had won the war. It was a mind-blowing conversation (for me anyway). I asked him if he felt that, at international schools, he feels that there is a dominant view of the world no matter who is in the class or who is teaching. His answer was not surprising and wonderful at the same time. He definitely knows that his way of viewing the world needs to be presented in particular ways for it to be accepted. He also talked about several of my colleagues who clearly challenge themselves to consider and include and discuss views of the world that are not dominant.
None of that was about books, but our conversation about history and what would Mongolia be like today (which is where is is from) made me think of a book I have recently read and I told him about it. It is called The Long Price by a writer named Daniel Abraham. It is a fantasy novel but that really does not do it justice. The land is fantasy and there are magics. Abraham has a beautiful understanding of story and the long and complex plot unfolds perfectly. There is never a moment where the story seems unnatural or clunky. I had such a good time reading this book, the craft is superb but does not stand in the way of the story. I felt like I was reading King Lear where every single word takes us to an and through the complexities of the lives of characters and countries that is wholly authentic and not a bit contrived, and deeply, deeply about humanity. It really is beautiful. It is a fantasy novel and it is excellent literature.