The World Between Two Covers

The World Between Two Covers

Reading the Globe

Book - 2015
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Ann Morgan writes in the opening of this delightful book, "I glanced up at my bookshelves, the proud record of more than twenty years of reading, and found a host of English and North American greats starting down at me...I had barely touched a work by a foreign language author in years...The awful truth dawned. I was a literary xenophobe."

Prompted to read a book translated into English from each of the world's 195 UN-recognized countries (plus Taiwan and one extra), Ann sought out classics, folktales, current favorites and commercial triumphs, novels, short stories, memoirs, and countless mixtures of all these things. The world between two covers, the world to which Ann introduces us with affection and no small measure of wit, is a world rich in the kind of narratives that engage us passionately: we meet an irreverent junk food-obsessed heroine in Kuwait, an explorer from Togo who spent years among the Inuit in Greenland, and a former child circus performer of Roma background seeking sanctuary in Switzerland. Ann's quest explores issues that affect us all: personal, political, national, and global. What is cultural heritage? How do we define national identity? Is it possible to overcome censorship and propaganda? And, above all, why and how should we read from other cultures, languages, and traditions? Illuminating and inspiring, The World Between Two Covers welcomes us into the global community of stories.

Publisher: New York : Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W. W. Norton & Company, 2015
Edition: 1st American edition
ISBN: 9781631490675
Branch Call Number: 028.9 MOR 2015 23
Characteristics: 326 pages
Alternative Title: Reading the world


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Rebecca_Kohn May 03, 2018

This is one of the best books on reading, publishing, and language I have ever read and it is one I will re-read. In writing about her project to read a book from 197 different countries, Morgan not only introduces us to a wonderful list of books to read, but provides important discussions on the role of translating/translators, publishers, access to books, and how the books you experience shape your understanding of the world. Morgan has an accessible style but she brings in hefty topics about identity, language, and literacy. This is a book that should have a broad audience since it addresses political aspects of access to books and censorship as well as the literary and publishing aspects of the book industry.

Be sure to check out page 271, where Pima County Public Library is mentioned under our previous name "Tucson-Pima Public Library" about having a bookless branch library!

Be sure to check out page 271, where Pima County Public Library is mentioned under our previous name "Tucson-Pima Public Library" about having a bookless branch library!

Oct 13, 2015

As someone who loves to read translations, I thought this book would be a good fit for me. I assumed it would be about her reading experience as she read a book from every country in the world. As it turns out, you must go to her online blog to get that feedback. This book was far more academic. It dealt with the ins and outs of translations and publishing in other countries, the difficulties of finding material, etc, etc. Some of the chapters were interesting but overall, it read more like an essay. Not awful, but fairly dry.

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