978-0-9754444-1-2 / 9780975444412

Foreign Words


Publisher:Autumn Hill Books



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About the book:

Crossing countries and continents, this narrative follows a son lost for words over the death of his father. Unable to write the phrase "My father is dead" in either his native Greek or his adopted French, he heads for Africa to undertake the learning of Sango. Traveling across both borders and time, he examines his past, his family history, and the colonial and political ties of his homelands. While at first he does not know why learning a new and uncommon language has become vital to him, he comes to discover that the new language enables him to easily write of his father's passing. But as he truly experiences Sangomeets its speakers, travels where it emerged and has struggled to survivehis intimacy with it grows, and he is once again unable to utter the telling phrase. Meditating on language, loss, and the power of words to express or constrain human emotion, this tale of speaking, living, and letting go is filled with delicate suspense, humor, and honesty.

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