Books

Best of 2015 Books: Editor's Choice

S Prasannarajan is the Editor of Open magazine
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SUBMISSION
By Michel Houellebecq
(William Heinemann)

The latest from France’s greatest living novelist is more than about his country electing a Muslim president in 2022 (‘In the Islamic Republic of Michel Houellebecq’, Open, 5 October 2015).

THE MEURSAULT INVESTIGATION
By Kamel Daoud
(Other Press)

This astounding first novel by an Algerian journalist gives the Arab killed in Camus’ The Outsider a name—and a life (‘Albert Camus and the Return of the Outsider’, Open ,13 July 2015).

THE DISCREET HERO
By Mario Vargas Llosa
(Faber)

Two rebels redeem contemporary Peru in the master’s comeback novel (‘The Discreet Campaign of Mario Vargas Llosa’, Open, 27 April 2015).

THE FESTIVAL OF INSIGNIFICANCE
By Milan Kundera
(Faber)

Five friends in Paris meet and weave a minor parody on their creator—Europe’s greatest living novelist (‘Milan Kundera and the Art of the Navel’, Open, 6 July 2015).

TWO YEARS EIGHT MONTHS AND TWENTY-EIGHT NIGHTS
By Salman Rushdie
(Jonathan Cape)

A fabulous battle between light and dark— and Rushdie is cleverer than Scheherazade. (‘Salman Rushdie: The Fabulist at Play’, Open, 14 September 2015).

BLACK EARTH: THE HOLOCAUST AS HISTORY AND WARNING
By Timothy Snyder
(The Duggan Books)

Evil revisited as a reminder to the 21st century world by a historian who writes like a novelist (‘The Persistence of Evil’, Open, 9 November 2015).

HERETIC: WHY ISLAM NEEDS A REFORMATION NOW
By Ayaan Hirsi Ali
(Harper)

Why Islam’s problem is its scripture itself (‘What’s Wrong with Islam?’, Open, 8 June 2015).

ISLAM AND THE FUTURE OF TOLERANCE: A DIALOGUE
By Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz
(Harvard University Press)

A conversation between an atheist and a Muslim radical-turned-liberal on what is wrong with Islam (‘Islam and Liberals’, Open, 14 December 2015).

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