Hands for Language

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Mawenzi House Publishers Limited, 2020 - Young Adult Nonfiction - 96 pages
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Hands for Language is a groundbreaking poetry collection that expands the dialogue around literary representation. At its core, the collection is a bildungsroman in verse that encompasses postcolonial and diasporic themes. Written by the author at the age of fifteen, Hands for Language is intended to take readers on a journey through the eyes of a young girl of color living in America. She explores themes of transnationalism, migration, language, family, and culture. Organized into four sections, Hands for Language mirrors my path to self-discovery and understanding. The collection is a commentary on the interaction between historical and modern conceptions of ethnicity, gender, and cultural identity. "As a child, I never had the opportunity to read a book or poem about a person who was truly like me, trapped by the duality of culture. It wasn't until adolescence that I discovered the underappreciated realm of diasporic writing. This poetry collection is a retelling of my childhood as a daughter of immigrants, and I hope to help other young people of color to embrace their cultural identity through this work."

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About the author (2020)

Uma Menon was born in Winter Park, Florida, where she attended Winter Park High school. She is the 2019-2020 Youth Fellow of the International Human Rights Art Festival. Hands for Language is her first published book and was shortlisted for the 2019 International Erbacce Prize. In the fall of 2020, she will begin attending Princeton University.

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