Literary Kaleidoscopes

A reading tip, a list of books that touch on, explore and cross the themes addressed by LENSart artists.

Like a kaleidoscope, they show all the colors, shapes and facets a person can have and the change, the continuous morphing, transforming and taking on renewed life of life itself.

Our invitation is to get out of your personal mindset and select that one title you would not usually choose.

This is a partecipated list: we thank everyone who contributed in compiling it and we invite you to recommend new titles.

Oliver Sacks

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat


Here Dr. Sacks recounts the case histories of patients lost in the bizarre, apparently inescapable world of neurological disorders: people afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations; patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.

If inconceivably strange, these brilliant tales remain, in Dr. Sacks’s splendid and sympathetic telling, deeply human. They are studies of life struggling against incredible adversity, and they enable us to enter the world of the neurologically impaired, to imagine with our hearts what it must be to live and feel as they do.

Malala Yousafzai

I am Malala


“I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.”

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Elvira Dones

Swarn virgin


Elvira Dones tackles cultural and gender disorientation and identity while seamlessly expanding upon immigrant and emigrant status and the multiple levels of transition. Mark’s decision to shake off her oath after fourteen years and to re-appropriate what is left of Hana’s body and mind by moving to the United States creates a powerful rupture. The transition to a new life as a woman striving to shed the burden of her virginity is fraught with challenges, and the first-generation assimilated cousins with whom Hana tentatively undertakes her new life make her task no easier. According to Albanian tradition, if there are no male heirs, a woman can “choose” to become a man—and enjoy the associated freedoms—as long as she swears herself to virginity for life. Clever young Hana is ushered home by her uncle’s impending death. Forced to abandon her studies in Tirana, she takes an oath and assumes the persona of Mark, a hardened mountain peasant—her only choice if she wants to be saved from an arranged marriage. 

Scroll to Top
Skip to content