lost in language & sound: or how i found my way to the arts:essays

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St. Martin's Press, Dec 6, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 160 pages
4 Reviews

A vibrant and vital collection that celebrates the three most important muses in the life and work of Ntozake Shange—language, music, and dance.

In this deeply personal book, the celebrated writer reflects on what it means to be an artist, a woman, and a woman of color through a beautiful combination of memoir and essay. She describes where her love for creative forces began--in her childhood home, a place where imagination reigned and boredom wasn't allowed. The essays tell stories ranging from the poignant origin of her celebrated play "for colored girls" to why Shange needed to deconstruct the English language to make that production work, from the intensity of the female experience and the black experience as separate entities to the difficulty of living both lives simultaneously; from the intense love of jazz bestowed on her by her father to a similar obsession with dance, which came from her mother. With deep sincerity, attention, and her legendary candor, Shange's collection progresses from the public arena to the private, gathering along the way the passions and insights of an author who writes with “such exquisite care and beauty that anybody can relate to her message” (Clive Barnes, The New York Times).

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Review: lost in language & sound: or how i found my way to the arts:essays

User Review  - Cara Byrne - Goodreads

"I have to scrape the bottoms of souls, dreams, nightmares,and syllables to taste what justice might possibly be" (129). I really like Shange's work as a playwright, poet and children's book author ... Read full review

Review: lost in language & sound: or how i found my way to the arts:essays

User Review  - Ms Anderson - Goodreads

The third part was definitely the best, though I the final piece in the second set, about rap/rape and the culture created through language, was definitely well-written and thought-provoking. A number ... Read full review

About the author (2011)

NTOZAKE SHANGE is a renowned novelist, playwright, and poet. Her works include the Obie Award-winning for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, and the novels Betsey Brown, Liliane, Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, and Some Sing, Some Cry, which she co-authored with her sister, Ifa Bayeza. Among her honors and awards are fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund and a Pushcart Prize. She lives in Brooklyn.

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