Proust and the Squid

Proust and the Squid : The Story and Science of the Reading Brain

  • Hardback
By (author) Maryanne Wolf

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'We were never born to read', says Maryanne Wolf. 'No specific genes ever dictated reading's development. Human beings invented reading only a few thousand years ago. And with this invention, we changed the very organisation of our brain, which in turn expanded the ways we were able to think, which altered the intellectual evolution of our species.' In "Proust and the Squid", Maryanne Wolf explores our brains' near-miraculous ability to arrange and re-arrange themselves in response to external circumstances. She examines how this 'open architecture', the elasticity of our brains, helps and hinders humans in their attempts to learn to read, and to process the written language. She also investigates what happens to people whose brains make it difficult to acquire these skills, such as those with dyslexia.Wolf, a world expert on the reading brain, brings both a personal passion and deft style to this, the story of the reading brain. It is a pop science masterpiece on a subject that anyone who loves reading will be sure to find fascinating.

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  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 06 Mar 2008
  • Icon Books Ltd
  • Duxford
  • b&w illustrations
  • 184046867X
  • 9781840468670
  • 577,794

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Author Information

Maryanne Wolf teaches at Tufts University and is Director of the Center for Reading and Language Research. She teaches and lectures all over the world and is a renowned expert on the reading brain.

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Review quote

'An entertaining, comprehensive, delightfully clear account of how our brain allowed us to become word magicians. A splendid achievement!' Alberto Manguel, author of A History of Reading'Child development Professor Wolf maintains the tone of a curious, erudite friend as she synthesises cutting-edge interdisciplinary research - psychology and archaeology, linguistics and education, history and neuroscience - in a pathbreaking look at the reading brain.' Publishers Weekly, Books of the Year'As booksellers, we don't need to be convinced of the importance of reading, but Maryanne Wolf's sage book goes far beyond what even we imagined. Wolf ... is not content to discuss the cultural significance of reading; she asserts with convincing evidence that this activity has radically changed the very organization of the human brain.' www.barnesandnoble.com 'Wolf displays extraordinary passion and percep--tiveness concerning the reading brain, its miraculous achievements and tragic dysfunc--tions.' Bookforum'What a timely, passionate meditation on the miracle of reading! Wolf's words provide the very pleasure she describes: we feel the precious excitement that is contact with another mind and are duly illuminated, provoked, steadied, and renewed.' Gish Jen

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