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Paperback Native Tongue Book

ISBN: 1558612467

ISBN13: 9781558612464

Native Tongue

(Book #1 in the Native Tongue Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

First published in 1984, Native Tongue earned wide critical praise, and cult status as well. Set in the twenty-second century after the repeal of the Nineteenth Amendment, the novel reveals a world where women are once again property, denied civil rights, and banned from public life. In this world, Earth's wealth relies on interplanetary commerce, for which the population depends on linguists, a small, clannish group of families whose women breed...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A very fun read!

I love science fiction, but I am very picky about it. This book was a well-written page turner from beginning to end. The characters are believable and well drawn. Each plot twist left me wondering what was going to happen next, the true definition of a good story. For anyone who doesn't think the world described in the book is likely, I laugh...especially today.Women in the book devise a language of their own, over the course of many years, that the men are totally oblivious to, and it changes the entire nature of who they are and how they relate to men in a way the men are entirely unaware of. What a concept! Many feminists have spent their lifetime finding words for concepts that men were totally and stubbornly oblivious to -- "rape" and "battered women" being the most obvious. Mary Daly is one of the most brilliant strategists in the study of the roots of the English language and how it diminishes women in and of itself. Learning about that process is incredibly empowering, and should not be taken lightly.Elgin takes that concept one evolutionary step further, and in the process makes the step creative, enjoyable and very, very fun. I loved this book!

The Gentle Bite

This novel has the gentle bite of the author's personality and revealing insight of society.It is a novel regarding a future society ruled by linguistics, Ms. Elgin's own area of expertise. In order to understand the alien species humanity encounters in space, linguistics holds the economic key to the universe. However, in the novel as perhaps it is in life, linguistics is ruled by men, and their wives and children are subject to their plans and demands. In the course of the novel, the linguists use genetics to breed for better linguists, but learn that their wives and children are not subjects of their control.Ms. Elgin's able to make this seemingly far-fetched idea a very realistic one. She does this through the strength of her characters, and her understanding of human nature--a very well thought out novel!

It inspired me to add Linguistics to my course of study!

I loved this book ... it presented issues relating to prejudice from a national, class and gender perspective. Although it was written in almost a different era, it is still able to portray the enormous difficulties encountered when one is 'different'. .. Jealousies rage where there is truly no justification. .. Individuals are sacrificed for the good of the group. .. Language both empowers and divides. .. The science fiction element is sufficient to enhance the scope of a book that potentially could have been bound by western culture.I have never written to an author before, but I did this time ... and not only that, I have taken up Linguistics in addition to my Psychology studies at University.

Bitingly brilliant

This is truly a brilliant book. Like "The handmaiden's tale" it sketches a future in which women don't have equal rights. Like "Memoirs of a spacewoman" it is written from a distinctly feminine perspective. However, it quite outclasses these books, by at least two orders of magnitude. It is believable science fiction, full of interesting ideas and truly mindstretching. In addition it is warmly human, at least for such a bitingly incisive book. As I said, a brilliant book!

I've read it 25 times and I find something new every time.

This is a truly glorious book! It combines linguistics, science fiction, feminist thought and alternative history all in one. The introduction of Laadan as a women's language fascinates me with its concept. The characters are extremely well-drawn and believable. The little side jaunts to the average woman's life in this time period is almost scary to imagine possible. It's enough to make a woman look at men differently for awhile. For men, it provides excellent insight into women's perspective.

Native Tongue Mentions in Our Blog

Native Tongue in Creative Linguistics: Novels Introducing a Novel Tongue
Creative Linguistics: Novels Introducing a Novel Tongue
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • July 01, 2021

Authors have the magical ability to create fictional worlds so immersive and tangible that we readers may have a hard time coming back to reality. This involves thinking through every detail of an imaginary universe. Sometimes it means inventing a brand new language!

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