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Tag: reading

Paulette M. Rothbauer, Kjell Ivar Skjerdingstad, Lynne (E.F.) McKechnie, and Knut Oterholm, eds. Plotting the Reading Experience: Theory, Practice, Politics

Paulette M. Rothbauer, Kjell Ivar Skjerdingstad, Lynne (E.F.) McKechnie, and Knut Oterholm, eds. Plotting the Reading Experience: Theory, Practice, Politics. Waterloo, Canada: Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2016. ix, 404p. ISBN 9781771121736. US$ 85.00.

Must have been fun. On June 11-12, 2013, 60 scholars gathered at Akershus University’s College of Applied Sciences in Oslo, Norway to share their research on readers and reading. Plotting the Reading Experience contains 23 papers presented there that focus on readers and their reading experiences. The volume is organized into the three broad yet interdependent categories: theory, practice, and politics. Essays embrace a variety of research methodologies and disciplinary approaches; cover the reading of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction by children and adult readers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; and focus on the Western world, with generous attention to Scandinavian readers.

Margaret Mackey. One Child Reading: My Auto-Bibliography

Margaret Mackey. One Child Reading: My Auto-Bibliography. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2016. xvi, 567p., ill. ISBN 9781772120394. CAN$ 60.00.

One Child Reading opens with a striking black and white photograph of a young child intently immersed in an open book while stirring something in a pot on the stove. The child’s eyes are firmly on the page of the book, not on the hand wielding a wooden spoon. The text on the right-side page indicates that the child in the photo is the author. “All sighted readers will recognize the invisible dotted line that connects my eyes to the words and images on the page. That virtual line, that indefinable connection between abstract representations and the live imagination of an interpreter, is the subject of this book” (3).

Rebecca L. Walkowitz. Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World Literature

Rebecca L. Walkowitz. Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World Literature. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015. 336p., ill. ISBN 9780231165945 (cloth). US $40.00.

Rebecca Walkowitz’s conceptually ambitious, provocative, and deftly argued book, Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World Literature, examines the evolution of the novel genre, the global marketability of Anglophone writers, and the significance of acts of translation in the current production, distribution, and consumption of literature. Walkowitz frames the study in the long history of the novel and its global circulation.

James Procter and Bethan Benwell. Reading Across Worlds: Transnational Book Groups and the Reception of Difference

James Procter and Bethan Benwell. Reading Across Worlds: Transnational Book Groups and the Reception of Difference. New York: Palgrave, 2015. xiv, 274p. ISBN 9781137276391. US $95.00.

Scholars and students of reading history and practices have a significant new resource in Reading Across Worlds: Transnational Book Groups and the Reception of Difference. An impressive large-scale, multi-year, and transnational study of book club talk, it provides us with a credible, intellectually rigorous account of reading reception.

Thomas McLaughlin. Reading and the Body: The Physical Practice of Reading

Thomas McLaughlin. Reading and the Body: The Physical Practice of Reading. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. x, 208p., ill. ISBN 9781137541314. US $95.

Reading and the Body is an important addition to studies of the social construction of reading practices. It brings together two important critical traditions that rarely converse with each other: the history of the book and theories of embodiment.

Anita Starosta. Form and Instability: Eastern Europe, Literature, Postimperial Difference

Anita Starosta. Form and Instability: Eastern Europe, Literature, Postimperial Difference. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2016. x, 222 p. ISBN 9780810132023. US $34.95 (paperback).

Europe – that is, its Western half – continues to represent, by way of its literature, a powerful referent of identity for East Europeans. Anita Starosta’s investigation of the novelists’ forays into the existing Western literary frames of authority suggests that East European writers constantly measured themselves by and against Europe. She selected works, mainly in Polish and on Polish culture, by writers of Czech, Hungarian, and Polish descent, to study Europe and readability challenges.