The Genius of Language

Paperback $13.95

Anchor | Jul 12, 2005 | 256 Pages | 5-3/16 x 8 | ISBN 9781400033232

  • Paperback$13.95

    Anchor | Jul 12, 2005 | 256 Pages | 5-3/16 x 8 | ISBN 9781400033232

  • Ebook$11.99

    Anchor | Feb 25, 2009 | 256 Pages | ISBN 9780307485397

Praise

"Intimate, entertaining and thoughtful. . . . It is impossible to do do justice to all of the outstanding essays in this volume." –San Francisco Chronicle

“Charming, moving and funny reflections on childhood, family, nationality, and ethnicity as well

as language. . . . Genuinely transporting” –The New York Sun

“Eloquently explores the links between childhood and language.” —Chicago Tribune

"Provides readers not just with a peak inside the heads of these dazzling writers, but a trip to each of their homelands, from Russia to Italy to Chile." –Condé Nast Traveler

“This delightful collection É vividly recounts the process that anyone who loves words goes through: the process of falling under the spell of language’s seemingly infinite potential.” –Publishers Weekly

“Intimate, entertaining and thoughtful É this volume provides fascinating insight into the way that grappling with language is a way people also grapple with life.” –San Francisco Chronicle

“This is a collection that should heighten anyone’s awareness of the potential and the limitation of the English language.” –San Jose Mercury News

“Ms. Lesser’s contemporary Conrads — writers who write in English though it’s not their first language — have delivered charming, moving and funny reflections on childhood, family, nationality, and ethnicity as well as language.” –New York Sun

“I laughed and cried over this collection of stories embracing the English language. {One of the 25 best books of 2004}.” --Seattle Times and Post- Intelligencer

“A rich and surprising book brimming with love of culture and respect of language.” –Tucson Citizen

“Powerful for their brevity É the richness and the range of the collection make this a valuable anthology.” –Kliatt (Massachusetts)

“This collection of essays is fascinating.” – Asheville (North Carolina) Citizen-Times

Table Of Contents

Introduction Wendy Lesser

BANGLA
The Way Back Bharati Mukherjee

CHINESE
Yes and No Amy Tan

CZECH
Trouble with Language Josef Skvorecky

DUTCH
Circus Biped Bert Keizer

FRENCH
French Without Tears Luc Sante

GERMAN
Prelude Thomas Laqueur

GIKUYU
Recovering the Original Ngugi wa Thiong’o

GREEK
Split Self Nicholas Papandreou

ITALIAN
Limpid, Blue, Poppy M. J. Fitzgerald

KOREAN
Personal and Singular Ha-yun Jung

POLISH
On Being an Orphaned Writer Louis Begley

RUSSIAN
The Mother Tongue Between Two Slices of Rye Gary Shteyngart

SCOTS
Boswell and Mrs. Miller James Campbell

SPANISH
Footnotes to a Double Life Ariel Dorfman

YIDDISH
My Yiddish Leonard Michaels

About the Contributors

Also by Wendy Lesser

Beaks & Geeks
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