I am currently reading The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy for work. Roy likes to capitalize certain words for Emphasis and now I strangely find myself thinking Random Thoughts with capital letters. (I do this when I read, take on the author's writing style for all thoughts in My Brain). I'm not sure what I would think of this book if I was Just Reading it for pleasure. The story is strange, somehow simultaneously Vulgar and Beautiful.
The last few books I have read for work have all had Bengali origins, though I didn't do this necessarily On Purpose. Before the Roy novel I read Banker to the Poor, which is the autobiography of micro-credit guru Muhammad Yunus. His lending to the poor had a profound effect on poverty in Bangladesh, as well as other places where his bank model has been replicated. With the mess of our stalwart American banking system I have to believe he has a point: Capitalism for Greed's Sake serves no one, not even the greedy capitalist. Capitalism for the promotion of Better Lives can be a positive, transforming tool.
I also did a lesson plan for The Interpreter of Maladies, the Pulitzer winning collection of short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri. I have to say I liked her second story collection better, Unacustomed Earth. Her stories were so beautifully, Profoundly Simple.
Some things--like poverty, aspirations, tragedy, motherhood--Transcend Culture.