Many writers work in a language other than their mother tongue. In this collection, writers explore the role that bilingualism has played in their creative lives and their sense of self.
Author: Isabelle de Courtivron
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Category: Literary Criticism
Being bilingual. What does it mean? Living in two languages, between two languages, or in the overlap of two languages? What is it like to write in a language that is not the language in which you were raised? To create in words other than those of your earliest memories, so far from the words of home and childhood and origin? To speak and write in a language other than the one which you once believed held the seamless connection between words and things? Do you constantly translate yourself, constantly switch, shift, alternate, not just vocabulary and syntax but consciousness and feelings? In a series of original essays, writers reflect on questions of identity, of choice, and of the difficult search for self and place. Products of the post-war global realities in which they have matured, they interrogate the individual, they explore the intimate experience, they ponder the strange itineraries that have led them from a childhood in one language to a writing life in another. Authors include Anita Desai, Eva Hoffman, Ariel Dorfman, Sylvia Molloy, Yoko Tawada, Shirley Geok-Lin Lim, Anton Shammas, Assia Djebar.