Beijing Coma - Chicago - Lost Riders - Free?
Ma Jian's novel, which is simultaneously beautiful and full of brutality, is a blistering critique of a repressive society, in which the hardliners now want "a more open economy, but not the demands for political freedoms that it inspired".
Alaa al Aswany
(Harper Perennial £7.99)
Aswany introduces us to a world where Arabs and Muslims must put up with racism in a post-9/11 society but where friendships between Americans and Egyptians are also easily made.
The Lost Riders
Eight year old Rashid and his little brother Shari are taken from their home in Pakistan to work as jockeys in the lucrative camel-racing business in the Persian Gulf. Laird, author of A Little Piece of Ground, tells a story of separation and exploitation.
This short-story collection by children's authors from around the world includes Malorie Blackman and Roddy Doyle. Themes of asylum, faith and education are explored as the authors celebrate what it means to be free.