My broken language : a memoir / Quiara Alegría Hudes.
- ISBN: 9780399590047
- ISBN: 0399590048
- Physical Description: xi, 316 pages ; 22 cm
- Edition: First edition.
- Publisher: New York : One World, 
|Formatted Contents Note:||
A multilingual block in West Philly -- Spanish becomes a secret; language of the dead -- English is for atheism; language of woodworking -- A name that is a mask -- An English cousin comes to visit -- Language of the forest -- Latina health vocab from the late '80s -- Spanglish cousins on the New Jersey turnpike -- Body language -- Sophomore year English -- Things go unsaid long enough... -- Possession's voice -- Sedo buys me an upright; language of Bach -- Taíno petroglyphs -- Lukumí thrones -- Silence=death -- Unwritten recipes -- Yoruba vocabulary -- A racial slur -- A book is its presence and absence -- Mom's accent -- Dad buys me a typewriter -- She said Norf Philly and one-two-free -- Atonality -- Fania everything and salsa out-of-prints -- The serenity prayer -- Sterling Library -- The Foraker Act (on Boriken's-and the diaspora's-language history) -- Gil-Scott Heron asks me a question -- Writing's a muscle, it gets stronger -- Broken language -- On obscenity -- Cold drink became a play -- Silence=death (déjà vu all over again) -- The book of our genius.
"Quiara Alegria Hudes was the sharp-eyed girl on the stairs while her family danced in her grandmother's tight South Philly kitchen, "frizzy hair cut short, bangs teased into stiff clouds, sweat glistening in the summer fog, pamper-butt babies weaving between legs." Quiara was awed by her aunts and uncles and cousins, but haunted by the secrets of the family and the unspoken stories of the barrio -- even as she tried to find her own voice in the sea of language around her, written and spoken, English and Spanish, bodies and books, Western art and sacred altars. Her family became her private pantheon, a gathering of powerful orishas with tragic wounds and she vowed to tell their stories--but first she'd have to get off the stairs and join the dance; she'd have to find her language. This is an inspired exploration of home, family, memory, and belonging, narrated by the obsessed girl who fought to become an artist so she could capture the world she loved in all its wild and delicate beauty"-- Provided by publisher.
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