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New Directions in Book History

Reading Across Worlds

Transnational Book Groups and the Reception of Difference

Authors: Procter, J., Benwell, B.

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  • ISBN 978-1-137-27640-7
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Hardcover $95.00
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-27639-1
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Softcover $39.99
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  • ISBN 978-1-349-44665-0
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About this book

Combining sustained empirical analysis of reading group conversations with four case studies of classic and contemporary novels: Things Fall Apart, White Teeth, Brick Lane and Small Island, this book pursues what can be gained through a comparative approach to reading and readerships.

About the authors

James Procter is a Reader in the School of English at Newcastle University, UK. His publications include Writing Black Britain (2000), Dwelling Places (2003), Stuart Hall (2004), and (with Benwell and Robinson) co-editor of Postcolonial Audiences (2012).

Bethan Benwell is a Senior Lecturer in the Division of Literature and Languages at the University of Stirling, UK. She has published widely on discursive approaches to identity, including those of readers. Her publications include Masculinity and Men's Lifestyle Magazines (2003) and (with Stokoe) Discourse and Identity (2006) and (with Procter and Robinson) co-editor of Postcolonial Audiences (2012).

Reviews



“Procter's talents as a postcolonial literary scholar combine with Benwell's as a discourse and conversation analyst to produce an interdisciplinary dream-team for a study of this type. ...  a text that … brilliantly challenges and expands the field of postcolonial literary studies to include the perspectives of readers.” (Stephanie Newell, Yale University, USA)

“Among the thorniest challenges in the seething subject area of book history is how meaningfully to account for the mercurial act of reading. Who reads what, when, where and how, and what do they make of their reading? These questions are especially pertinent in today's world in which diverse texts by authors from a plethora of backgrounds encounter a multiplicity of readers, who may possess much - or very little - experience of the worlds being described. By concentrating on the vocal reactions to a swathe of post-colonial texts by participants in book clubs, Procter and Benwell by-pass the over-confident generalizations of the theorists, and present in their place a panorama of active and meaningful response. On the cusp of several sub-disciplines - response theory, post-colonial studies, cultural demography - the result is as exhilarating as it is revealing. Book history will never be quite the same again.” (Professor Robert Fraser, Open University, UK)

“What a good read! Or is that because I'm an academic reader? A book that crosses so many important boundaries, including lay and professional readers, readership across national, social and cultural boundaries, genres, and ethnicities. An exemplary interdisciplinary study especially for those in literary, postcolonial and discourse studies.” (Geoff Hall, Professor and Head of English, University of Nottingham, UK)

“This is an exemplary study of how discussion of books provides an opportunity for people to negotiate and articulate their own perspectives on class, race, and community. It shows categorically that empirical approaches to studying reading behaviour - assuming what readers say is self-evidently meaningful - are of limited use, and that the assumption that professional and non-professional readers behave significantly differently is to be seriously queried as well. It should be an essential resource for the study of reading practices.” (Sarah Brouillette, Carleton University, Canada)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Procter, James (et al.)

    Pages 1-18

  • Professional and Lay Readers

    Procter, James (et al.)

    Pages 19-50

  • Remote Reading

    Procter, James (et al.)

    Pages 51-100

  • Reading and Realism

    Procter, James (et al.)

    Pages 101-136

  • Reading in the Literary Marketplace

    Procter, James (et al.)

    Pages 137-177

Buy this book

eBook $29.99
price for Mexico (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-27640-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $95.00
price for Mexico
  • ISBN 978-1-137-27639-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $39.99
price for Mexico
  • ISBN 978-1-349-44665-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Reading Across Worlds
Book Subtitle
Transnational Book Groups and the Reception of Difference
Authors
Series Title
New Directions in Book History
Copyright
2015
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-27640-7
DOI
10.1057/9781137276407
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-27639-1
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-44665-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 274
Topics