The Genius of Language: Fifteen Writers Reflect on Their Mother Tongue ePub (Adobe DRM) download by Wendy Lesser

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

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: February 2009
ISBN: 9780307485397
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)

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Fifteen outstanding writers answered editor Wendy Lesser's call for original essays on the subject of language-the 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 wife-the language of their courtship. As intimate as one's 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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