Top 10 bilingual books


This post is by Yara Rodrigues Fowler from Books | The Guardian


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From the ghostly remains of Sappho’s ancient Greek, to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s untranslated Igbo – a selection of the best tales told in multiple languages

Many of us live scattered across languages. School in English; baby talk in a mother tongue; swearing and dirty talk in English; exclamations of pain (the sound that comes before words when a finger touches a hot pan) in whatever language we heard as young children.

When I wrote Stubborn Archivist, I was hungry for writing that showed bilingual lives – speaking, loving, hurting, bringing up children, but with your languages mixed up. Sometimes this means not separating one language from the other, but thinking with your lexicons unparsed (or as my protagonist says, with languages “bleeding like clothes in the wash”). Sometimes it means code-switching in a way that goes beyond words: different hand movements, different eye contact, different volume.

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