Native Tongue

(Author) (Foreword by)

Product Details

$17.95  $16.69
Feminist Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 1.1 X 7.9 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Suzette Haden Elgin (born Patricia Anne Wilkins; 1936-2015) was an American science fiction author. She founded the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and was considered an important figure in the field of science fiction constructed languages. Elgin was also a linguist; she published nonfiction, of which the best-known is the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense series.


"Extremely relevant." --Bookforum

"A pioneering feminist experiment." --Literary Hub

A welcome reminder of the feminist legacies of science fiction. . . . Explores the power of speech, agency, and subversion in a work that is as gripping, troubling, and meaningful today as it has ever been. --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"This carefully crafted, fascinating dystopia is a call to action even decades later, and highlights the importance of language and its uses in politics of power." --Booklist (starred review)

"A necessary and exhilarating book." --4Columns

"Published in 1984, Native Tongue got it right. In the power and precision of language, women can begin to change the world. --Maggie Shen King, author of An Excess Male

"This angry feminist text is also an exemplary experiment in speculative fiction, deftly and implacably pursuing both a scientific hypothesis and an ideological hypothesis through all their social, moral, and emotional implications." --Ursula K. Le Guin

"Native Tongue brings to life not only the possibility of a women's language, but also the rationale for one. . . . [It is] a language that can bring to life concepts men have never needed, have never dreamed of--and thus change the world. Elgin never makes the mistake of easy utopianism or over-optimism. Her women revel in patience." --Village Voice Literary Supplement

Less well known than the The Handmaid's Tale but just as apocalyptic in [its] vision . . . Suzette Haden Elgin's Native Tongue . . . records female tribulation in a world where . . . women have no public rights at all. Elgin's heroines do, however, have one set of weapons--words of their own. --Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, New York Times Book Review