Native Tongue, awesomeness, and an unprecedented lack of spoilers.

This is the post in which I urge you to go and read Suzette Haden Elgin’s Native Tongue, as soon as you possibly can. Seriously, see if you local library has a website or snag it at Amazon here. (By the way, since I won’t be addressing any “spoilers,” this is a review, not a critique. A critique will be coming later.)

Native Tongue is set in a Handmaid’s Tale-esque anti-feminist future, except with aliens. Most of our main characters are linguists, who are important because only they can communicate effectively with the multitudes of alien species that humans wish to trade with. It is a book that grapples with telling women’s stories, and the ways that languages shape understanding.

I’m sure the internet is full of similarly-vague urgings to read this book, but for some reason I find that the more a book is recommended to me, the more I resist reading it. It is a foolish instinct, and if you struggle with the same problem, I urge you to fight it, because this book is definitely worth reading.

If you love languages, science fiction, dystopian futures, fully-realized women and intertwining plots, you will love Native Tongue. So go read it!


2 Responses to Native Tongue, awesomeness, and an unprecedented lack of spoilers.

  1. dollyann says:

    Gah, must get my hands on this book! I’m a total fan of the Handmaid’s Tale, and this sounds absolutely terrific. You should also read Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. She wrote a utopian feminist novel called “Herland.” Three guys stumble there and discover what an all-woman world is like. I remember being a little disappointed with the ending though, like all three guys got paired up with a girl. Anywho, I’m off to read Native Tongue! 😀

  2. […] Native Tongue, linguistics, and the Other. Okay, so now I’m going to dig into some of the themes of Native Tongue. Spoilers ahoy. (If you just want to hear me gibber gleefully, check out my brief review here.) […]

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