City of Asylum Books @ Alphabet City

An independent bookstore specializing in works in translation and world literature

40 W. North Avenue in Pittsburgh's North Side.


By: August Wilson

From legendary playwright August Wilson, the powerful, stunning dramatic work that won him critical acclaim, including the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize. Troy Maxson is a strong man, a hard man. He has had to be to survive. Troy Maxson has gone through life in an America where to be proud and black is to face pressures that could crush a man, body and soul. But the 1950s are yielding to the new spirit of liberation in the 1960s, a spirit that is changing the world Troy Maxson has learned to deal with the only way he can, a spirit that is making him a stranger, angry and afraid, in a world he never knew and to a wife and son he understands less and less.

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Difficult Women

By: Roxane Gay

A powerhouse collection of stories from the New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist and An Untamed State, Difficult Women provides a wry, beautiful, haunting vision of modern America.

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The Sympathizer

By: Viet Thanh Nguyen

The winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as six other awards, The Sympathizer is the breakthrough novel of the year. With the pace and suspense of a thriller and prose that has been compared to Graham Greene and Saul Bellow, The Sympathizer is a sweeping epic of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a “man of two minds,” a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who arranges to come to America after the Fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam. The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping espionage novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship.

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I Am Not Your Negro by Raoul Peck

No Knives in the Kitchens of this City by Khaled Khalifa; translated from the Arabic by Leri Price

Seven Brief Lessons in Physics by Carlo Rovelli (Riverhead Books, 2016)

Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich

Translated from the Russian by Keith Gessen

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Book Club

We are pleased to be launching City of Asylum Book Club!

The theme of the book club is exploring new voices from around the world.  We will meet monthly at City of Asylum Bookstore at Alphabet City.  Please contact our volunteer book club coordinator, Laura McGaha, for more information:

March 20th, 6pm: No Knives in the Kitchens of this City by Khaled Khalifa

April TBD: Exit West by Moshin Hamid

May TBD: Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

Books available for purchase at City of Asylum Bookstore


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Into the Snow by Yuki Kaneko (Enchanted Lion Books, 2016)

By: Yuki Kaneko

Through bright, warm illustrations, this inspiring, empowering book conveys the pure joy of a small child exploring on a snowy day.

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The Story of Snowflake and Inkdrop

By: Alessandro Gatti and Pierdomenico Baccalairo

On a snowy, windy day, a white snowflake meets a black inkdrop in midair. The unlikely pair have endless stories to tell one another. Lush illustrations with beautiful intricate die cuts  transport the reader into another world.

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The Undergound Railroad

By: Colson Whitehead

The National Book Award Winner and #1 New York Times bestseller from Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South.

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Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin

Laurus by Eugene Vodolazkin; translated from the Russian by Lisa Hayden

Letters from Russia by Astolphe de Custine (NYRB Classics)

The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy by Beatrice Alemagna (Enchanted Lion Books, 2015)

The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea by Bandi

(Forthcoming, Grove Press, 2017)

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Storytelling Saturdays: Stories Connect Us

Join Bookseller Jen every Saturday at 11:30am as she tells and reads stories from around the world.


March 3: Girl Power! Celebrating Woman’s History Month

March 10: Here We Are: Our Home, Our Earth

March 17: Growing Friends

March 24: Jumping In. Spring!

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