Lost in Language and Sound
or, How I Found My Way to the Arts; Essays
Lost in Language and Sound is 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, New York Times).