Author(s): Alberto Manguel


An eclectic history of human curiosity, a great feast of ideas, and a memoir of a reading life from an internationally celebrated reader and thinker

Curiosity has been seen through the ages as the impulse that drives our knowledge forward and the temptation that leads us toward dangerous and forbidden waters. The question "Why?" has appeared under a multiplicity of guises and in vastly different contexts throughout the chapters of human history. Why does evil exist? What is beauty? How does language inform us? What defines our identity? What is our responsibility to the world? In Alberto Manguel's most personal book to date, the author tracks his own life of curiosity through the reading that has mapped his way.

Manguel chooses as his guides a selection of writers who sparked his imagination. He dedicates each chapter to a single thinker, scientist, artist, or other figure who demonstrated in a fresh way how to ask "Why?" Leading us through a full gallery of inquisitives, among them Thomas Aquinas, David Hume, Lewis Carroll, Rachel Carson, Socrates, and, most importantly, Dante, Manguel affirms how deeply connected our curiosity is to the readings that most astonish us, and how essential to the soaring of our own imaginations.

Product Information

Enormously enjoyable about the pleasures of reading [a book] about how books help us to be thoughtful, feeling human beings. Jonathan Bate, "New Statesman."--Jonathan Bate"New Statesman" (08/14/2015)"

Alberto Manguel is a Canadian writer, translator, editor, and critic. Born in Buenos Aires, he has since resided in Israel, Argentina, Europe, the South Pacific, and Canada. He now lives in New York.

General Fields

  • : 9780300219807
  • : Yale University Press
  • : Yale University Press
  • : 0.498952
  • : February 2016
  • : 235mm X 156mm
  • : United States
  • : March 2016
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Alberto Manguel
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : English
  • : 814/.54 B
  • : General Adult
  • : 392
  • : 51 b/w illus.