Several years ago, Ann Morgan, a writer from London, looked at her bookshelf and realized it held almost no books from other countries -- an oversight she called a "massive cultural blindspot." In a nod to the Olympics, she decided to read a book from every country (196 total) and blog about it. But she quickly learned that finding books in English would be a challenge. Only about 4.5 percent of literary works published in the U.K. were translations. So she turned to the Internet for help. There, she learned about kindness when strangers went above and beyond to help her select and translate books. She learned that stories have the power to connect us despite our differences. And she learned about the richness and diversity of our world. In this 12-minute TED talk, a bubbly and enthusiastic Morgan recounts her journey in international literature. . . and shares lessons in human nature.

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  • TM

    What inspired you about this video Can I also get a link to her books?

  • TM

    Because I'm a librarian and read a lot of global crime fiction.

  • Admin

    Thank you, Araya, for the link to the list of books that Ann read. Viewers can also follow the link from the first "Be the Change" item to the side of the video. Happy reading!

  • julie

    Wonderful! I really enjoy children's literature, so when I travel i am always looking for a children's book from that particular country translated in english. Not always an easy task! My recent purchase was in Laos, "Kola in Laos", they are always my favorite souvenir!

  • Marianne

    Reading real books is such an adventure and privilege. This inspired me to embark on the same journey as Ann, but would need her list of books to get started. Just amazing!

  • Kathy

    What inspired you about this video AND ME TOO!! Would love the list! Thank you!

  • Liz

    ME TOO, Claudia!

  • Claudia

    I'm interested in seeing a list of the books that Ann read.

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  • Visit Morgan's blog, "A Year of Reading the World," for a list of the books she read, her top ten favorites in the list, and more.
  • Literature Across Frontiers is a nonprofit that aims to develop intercultural dialogue through literature and translation and highlight lesser-translated literatures. Learn more about their important work.​
  • Challenge yourself to read one translated book a month for a year. Or, consider reading books in another language if you know one.

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