The Genius of Language by Wendy Lesser

In this collection 15 writers consider the impact of their bilingualism on the development of their craft. All agree that, in some sense, it was precisely the feeling of not quite fitting into their surroundings that made them writers at all. Amy Tan, Josef Skvorecký, Ariel Dorfman, Leonard Michaels, Luc Sante and others look back at their formative years, relating their assimilation into American culture. Mostly there is a recapture and use of the older tongue, and an appreciation for the native traditions and expressions. All have fallen under the spell of language’s seemingly infinite potential. They now use it expertly.

This collection of essays is a joy to read for all those who love language. Check if the collection is in stock at your local library by consulting the online catalogue at

421 pages in Random House

First published 2005

ISBN  978-1400033232

Wendy Lesser

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