Saturday, April 23, 2016

Worlds Elsewhere by Andrew Dickson - Giveaway #Shakespeare400


Today is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death and I have a special giveaway for you!

A book about how Shakespeare became fascinated with the world, and how the world became fascinated with Shakespeare - the first book of its kind

There are 83 copies of the First Folio in a vault beneath Capitol Hill, the world's largest collection. Well over 150 Indian movies are based on Shakespeare's plays - more than in any other nation. If current trends continue, there will soon be more high-school students reading The Merchant of Venice in Mandarin Chinese than in early-modern English. Why did this happen - and how? Ranging ambitiously across four continents and 400 years, Worlds Elsewhere is an eye-opening account of how Shakespeare went global. Seizing inspiration from the playwright's own fascination with travel, foreignness and distant worlds, Dickson takes us on an extraordinary journey - fromHamlet performed by English actors tramping through Poland in the early 1600s to twenty-first-century Shanghai, where Shashibiya survived Mao's Cultural Revolution to become an honored Chinese author.

En route we visit Nazi Germany, where Shakespeare became an unlikely favorite, and delve into the history of Bollywood, where Shakespearian stories helped give birth to Indian cinema. In Johannesburg, we discover how Shakespeare was enlisted into the fight to end apartheid. In California, we encounter him as the most popular playwright of the American frontier.

Both a cultural history and a literary travelogue, the first of its kind, Worlds Elsewhereexplores how Shakespeare became the world's writer, and how his works have changed beyond all recognition during the journey.

Praise for Worlds Elsewhere
“There were very few pages on which I didn’t learn something new or revelatory. A must-read for anyone interested in Shakespeare’s impact around the globe.”
—JAMES SHAPIRO, author of 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare

“Brilliantly original. Absolutely engaging, witty and irresistible. What’s most remarkable: he’s said something new about Shakespeare. ” —MICHAEL PYE, author of The Edge of the World

“Immensely well-informed and highly readable. A revelatory journey of cultural exploration. ”
—PROFESSOR STANLEY WELLS, General Editor of the Oxford and Penguin Shakespeares

“This book is much more than just a hugely entertaining travelogue. In its strikingly original, engagingly idiosyncratic way, Dickson’s action-packed global quest amounts to a substantial new contribution to Shakespeare scholarship.” —THE GUARDIAN

“An extraordinarily exhilarating book, like no other Shakespeare criticism you have ever read... [Dickson] is a serious scholar, and his cross-cultural insights into Shakespeare are remarkable.”

“More than just a hugely entertaining travelogue… a substantial new contribution to Shakespeare scholarship. ” —ANTHONY HOLDEN, The Observer

“A joy, full to bursting with surprising incidents, stories and insight. ”

“Eye-opening and engrossing.” —NICK CURTIS, Mail on Sunday

“A rousing and insightful tour through the global manifestations of Shakespeare's works with plenty of information that will even stun even those who thought they knew it all... an eloquent testimony of how cultural motifs gets transmitted, changed to alien climes and still flourish.” —THE TIMES OF INDIA

“Dickson proves himself a genial guide to Shakespeare's huge influence and legacy. A frequently illuminating investigation of Shakespeare around the world. ” —KIRKUS REVIEWS



The theatre was packed, people jostling for position. As I watched, three men detached themselves from the crowd and began slowly to climb the steps. A ripple of applause washed over them as they came up on to the stage. Acknowledging it, they glanced around – surprised, bemused to find themselves here in the flat grey light of an English summer afternoon. They were decently dressed, if perhaps a little shabby: long perahantunics in grey and mud- brown, loose trousers, jackets, rubber sandals. Orange security lanyards flapped at their necks. They carried bags; one had a rug slung across his arm. They looked fresh off the plane, and dusty with tiredness.

They settled themselves down, cross-legged, on one side of the stage. Ceremonially, the rug was laid out. The carry-on bags disgorged a series of unlikely objects: a small drum, a case of wooden flutes, a much larger rug. One of the men unzipped what looked like a violin case and produced an Afghan lute, the colour of fresh honey, bristling with pegs and frets. After a few lazy skitterings up the fingerboard, he glanced towards his colleagues. The crowd hushed. Somewhere nearby, there was a brief splash of birdsong. Quietly, insistently, the musicians began to play.

About the author
Andrew Dickson was raised in Yorkshire, and studied at Cambridge. He is currently an honorary fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, a former visiting fellow at the University of Warwick, and has contributed toThe New Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare. Formerly an arts editor at the Guardian in London, he continues to write regularly for the paper and has also written for The New Yorker online and The New Statesman. He makes regular appearances on BBC radio and TV as a presenter and reviewer.

Visit Andrew's website

Visit above site for purchase links.

GIVEAWAY: Open to U.S. entrants only. To enter, please leave a comment telling me which work of Shakespeare is your favorite. If you haven't read any of his work, but would like to, which would you read first? Be sure to leave your email address so I can contact the winner. Giveaway will end on Saturday, April 30th at 11:59 pm CT. Good luck!

Watch for my review...coming next month!



Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment. It means so much.

I apologize for word verification, but as soon as I changed the settings from only users with Google accounts, I started receiving a ton of spam comments...within one hour of changing the settings. The bots are on high alert apparently.

  1. Sounds fascinating! I'm adding this one to my TBR & wish list.

    Which Shakespeare is my favorite? Eesh, what a question! I think Titus Andronicus is a riot. I've read Macbeth the most. But all things considered, I think I have to go with The Tempest. It's just magical.


    1. Titus Andronicus is my favorite. :-)

      Thanks for stopping by and entering. Good luck!

  2. Midsummer Night's Dream is my favorite.
    Carol Smith

  3. Hi! Mine is Antony and Cleopatra with Macbeth following. Nassem's favorite is Macbeth. Looks like a good read!

  4. Hi! My favorite is Antony and Cleopatra and Macbeth! Nassem favorite is Macbeth! Looks like a good read!


  5. I have a few favorites: Anthony and Cleopatra, A Midsummer Night's Dream and King Lear. Raquel36m(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. I absolutely love books like this. Favorite play? It has to be Much Ado About Nothing, which I've seen on stage many times, love the film, and love the adaptations. Beatrice and Benedick are definitely two of my all-time favorite characters. janetgs05-at-gmaildotcom

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