ISBN is

978-1-4000-3323-2 / 1400033233

The Genius of Language: Fifteen Writers Reflect on Their Mother Tongue

by Lesser, Wendy

Publisher:Anchor

Edition:Softcover

Language:English

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About the book:

Fifteen outstanding writers answered editor Wendy Lessers call for original essays on the subject of languagethe one they grew up with, and the English in which they write.Despite American assumptions about polite Chinese discourse, Amy Tan believes that there was nothing discreet about the Chinese language with which she grew up. Leonard Michaels spoke only Yiddish until he was five, and still found its traces in his English language writing. Belgian-born Luc Sante loved his French Tintin and his Sartre, but only in English could he find words of one syllable that evoke American bars and bus stops. And although Louis Begley writes novels in English and addresses family members in Polish, he still speaks French with his wifethe language of their courtship. As intimate as ones dreams, as private as a secret identity, these essays examine and reveal the writers pride, pain, and pleasure in learning a new tongue, revisiting an old one, and reconciling the joys and frustrations of each.

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