- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Liveright; 1 edition (May 4, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1631490672
- ISBN-13: 978-1631490675
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #961,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“[The World Between Two Covers] offers a persuasive rebuttal to the indifference some may feel regarding the limited availability of foreign-language works, given that there are already more books than anyone has time to read. The power wielded by the Anglo-American publishing industry over what gets translated produces uniformity; to encounter a true diversity of perspectives, Morgan demonstrates, may require some research and even some legwork.”
- Timothy Aubry, New York Times Book Review
“Only a writer like Morgan could make reading about reading so sublimely fascinating: over a year, she immerses herself in a book from every country on the globe, and shares the profound fruits of her pursuit.”
- Entertainment Weekly
“In her lively, debut book, journalist and blogger Morgan, regretting that she has been 'a literary xenophobe,' recounts her project to spend a year reading one book, translated or written in English, from every country in the world…Morgan's intrepid literary project underscores the crucial importance of stretching the boundaries of one’s aesthetic and intellectual worlds.”
- Kirkus Reviews
“Extraordinary…. [The World Between Two Covers] reads less like a collection of book reviews and more of a cultural excavation of the global literary landscape. It challenges the reader instead of merely suggesting reading material, and turns our own literary prejudices inside out. Why do we choose the books we read? What does that say about us? Should we even bother reading books in translation? The answer is an unequivocal yes…. At its heart, The World Between Two Covers is a love letter to literature and a battle cry to read world literature.”
- Elizabeth Silver, The Rumpus
“As journalist Morgan relates in this introspective debut, she took it upon herself to learn more about international literature after looking at her shelves and realizing that her reading has been almost exclusively British and North American… The book’s themes include the difficulties of getting published in other languages, the imperfection of translation, and the inequities of a global cultural tradition still dominated by Western imperialism… The reward for readers in this volume is a greater appreciation for global literature and the inspiration to reexamine one’s own reading habits.”
- Publishers Weekly
“This book has a very neat conceit…Morgan covers the 'landscape' of global literature, the state of publishing…the politics of translation and how the west is represented in non-occidental literatures. It is a vast field but the breezy style, infectious enthusiasm and nicely pitched tone mean it is both diverting and illuminating.”
- Stuart Kelly, Guardian
“The World Between Two Covers is an exquisitely written book that manages to be both a compelling quest narrative and a moving exploration into the joys of reading. Ann Morgan is a wonderful writer―astute and accessible, lyrical and lush―and this is a book so compelling it's impossible to put down.”
- Molly Antopol, author of The Un-Americans
“Morgan knows how important it is to see things from other perspectives, to dispel the myths of superiority that our cultures have instilled in us. Her project and her book are important, vital even, in an ever-expanding global community.”
- Jonathan Russell Clark, Literary Hub
About the Author
Ann Morgan is a freelance writer and editor. She continues to blog about books at ayearofreadingtheworld.com and lives with her husband, Steve Lennon, in South London
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The lack of books in translation also explains why so few Americans
have a global view of the world and merely a national view. I believe if there were
more Americans reading more translations, Americans would think twice before constantly engaging in war.
Those would be more 'real people' to us that we're bombing.
I also believe this lack of knowlege about the world will make America
uncompetitive in the future, hence, we need to get reading global literature!
I applaud Ann's efforts, I like that she examined the state of the global publishing industry in the book,
and sends us to her blog for the list itself.
I was surprised that the book was not very much about the individual books she read, but that was fine with me, since I was more interested in the logistics (How did she find get books from North Korea? How did she decide what constitutes a country? What was the quality of the translation into English?) If you want to know about the books as she read them, they're still on her blog. But the book cover and marketing led me to believe that this would be more about the books themselves, so I'm not surprised that some readers are disappointed.
It's a monumental undertaking to try to cram into a single year. Just reading the books would have taken longer than that, I would have thought, and the time it took to find possible candidates, track them down and acquire them was another full time job. Add to that the regular blog posts and responses to interested followers, and it's quite an impressive accomplishment.
Morgan is a thinking reader and she examines such topics as censorship, the influence of English on the rest of the world, the internet's effect on focused reading, the nature of translation and the responsibilities of translators. She also talks about libraries, bookshops, her bookshelves, and reading on the subway.
She even talks about the books themselves from time to time, but I suspect that out of any collection of two hundred books, only about a quarter to a third of them will be worthwhile and that there will be quite a few stinkers in the batch. Morgan doesn't suggest anything like this though, so don't go looking for caustic reviews in The World Between Two Covers. She sticks to the positive aspects and to the larger issues that they suggest.
I've been enjoying this recent boom of books about reading. The World Between Two Covers is most like the The Shelf: From LEQ to LES: Adventures in Extreme Reading by Phyllis Rose, but also fits in the same category as My Life in Middlemarch,How to Be a Heroine: Or, What I've Learned from Reading too Much (Vintage Original), and The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books (and Two Not-So-Great Ones) Saved My Life. This is Morgan's first book and I'm looking forward to more from her.
It’s a fascinating trip, full of WTF moments (HOW low is the percentage of foreign books translated into English?) and authorial insights, including an extended section in harmony with Adichie’s argument about the dangers of a country or a people being known by a single story. Particularly, as Morgan points out, when that story may have been chosen for translation because it has just the “right amount of foreignness” (read: slight exoticism) to make it in the global market, rather than because it’s truly representative. It’s a surprisingly, delightfully academic look at reading and publishing, with fun discursive dips into the multiplicity of reasons people read - Sherlock Holmes stories became wildly popular in China in the late nineteenth century due to their perceived educational value – and the challenges of translation, which go back at least to the 4th century CE, when St. Jerome sharply replied to criticisms of his translations of the Pope’s letters by arguing that translation is meant to be not word for word but sense for sense.
The World Between Two Covers isn’t the journey I was expecting when I picked it up, but the beauty of travel is in the surprises it can hold; Morgan’s thoughtful and beautifully written consideration of our responsibility as readers is one of the best I’ve had.