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On Borrowed Words A Memoir of Language (Paperback)

Author:  Ilan Stavans
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FORMAT: Paperback
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Learn more about On Borrowed Words:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0142000949
ISBN-13: 9780142000946
Sku: 30967145
Publish Date: 4/10/2007
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 8H x 5.25L x 0.5T
Pages:  272
Age Range:  22 to UP
In this rich memoir, linguistic chameleon Stavans outlines his remarkable cultural heritage, from his birth in politically fragile Mexico through his years as a student activist and young Zionist in Israel to his present career as a noted and controversial academic and writer.
From the Publisher:
Tracing his own life and cultural background from the perspective of language and words, the author of The Hispanic Condition traces his family's odyssey from Eastern Europe to the Jewish ghetto of Mexico City and his own years as a student activist, Zionist in Israel, theology student in New York, and current career as a scholar and author. Reprint.
For this memoirist, an Eastern European Jew, every stage of development meant learning a new language, as his family emigrated first to Mexico, then Israel, and eventually to the United States. Learning each new language, from his Yiddish upbringing, through Spanish, Hebrew and English, confronted Stavans with different aspects of his own identity.


Boston Globe
"Readers who are fascinated by words but consider themselves allergic to - or just tired of - the memoir format might want to put their reservations aside long enough to read a new book by Ilan Stavans. In ON BORROWED WORDS: A MEMOIR OF LANGUAGE, the author examines the roles that four languages play in his life, allowing us a vibrant look at his world, or, more specifically, his worlds." 08/20/2001

New York Times Book Review
"[A]t its most arresting, it is a meditation about how language defines not just the words we use but the places we come from...The best and most original parts of this book are Stavans's insights into the intersections of language, geography and culture." - Thane Rosenbaum 09/16/2001

San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
"As one born already exiled from the master narrative, Ilan Stavans set out to make this voyage many years ago, armed with little more then his absolute faith in books and those who write them. Moving from Mexico to Spain, Israel to America, he shed en route fidelities to the languages of his personal Diaspora -- Spanish, Yiddish, Hebrew, Ladino -- before arriving to an English that melds all these into a heartfelt dialect of infectious intellect; a culturally polyglot English tongue for which he's shown, in this present volume, a fluency verging on brilliance." - Alan Kaufman 10/07/2001

Product Attributes

Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeMinimum Age:   18
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0272
Product attributePublisher:   Penguin Books
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