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lost in language & sound: or how i found my way to the arts:essays

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  29 ratings  ·  9 reviews
"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 force
Paperback, 160 pages
Published December 6th 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Ntozake Shange is perhaps best known for her ground-breaking 1975 play, "for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf." Consisting of 20 poems told by multiple narrators, the play ranges from darkness to light, from love and relationships to the horror of domestic violence. At the end of the play, the women join together, chanting: "I found God in myself/and I loved her/I loved her fiercely."

More than 35 years later, Shange's collection of essays, “lost in language &
Cara Byrne
"I have to scrape the bottoms of souls, dreams, nightmares,and syllables to taste what justice might possibly be" (129).

I really like Shange's work as a playwright, poet and children's book author, so I was excited to see that penned this memoir/essay collection. And as she wrote this book of recollections and thoughts when she was struggling with an illness (xi), I can understand its discombobulated nature- as she discusses her childhood, racism, poetry, and American theatre while mixing in so
This collection of essays was released earlier this month. Essays are usually hit or miss for me,overall this collection worked very well for me. I especially loved the first half, in which much of it read like a homage to African American dance,dancers Jazz. I only recognized a few of the dancers mentioned, I did a little better with the Jazz artist (though barely). But it did not matter either way, Ntozake Shange wrote in such a way that it made me feel like I knew them, or at the very least I ...more
Absolutely one of the best books about art, the identity of the artist, and the value of art that I have ever read. The book challenged me to think more complexly and outside of my own experience while it also resonated with some of the deepest - but yet unspoken - feelings I have about writing and language.

I listened to the book on audio, but this is a book I will also get in print so I can savor it, line by line.
not my cup of tea. some really good observations. i love this writer. not this work, though. maybe more for theatre people?
I sat down in one afternoon with my journal and this book and left my coffee shop with my head swirling and my soul full. As a writer and an artist, the honesty and perspective of this artist felt like a mother's hug, full of knowledge and understanding. The transparency of her journey, her triumphs, her fears is inspiring and i highly recommend this book to any artist who needs some reassurance that it is okay to question the journey.
Megan Anderson
The third part was definitely the best, though I the final piece in the second set, about rap/rape and the culture created through language, was definitely well-written and thought-provoking. A number of the essays, though, seemed more like reviews of things her friends had done than essays on her craft (granted, those things are intertwined).

Not a bad set of essays, overall, but some were better than others.
Ms Shange never disappoints me in this autobiographical book on her life and all the energies given and taken to achieve the place in literary and poetry on the world's stage. Dancin', singin' and actin' was what she wanted to do with her life. Bravo!!!
Exciting use of language, setting and personal philosophy. I did not know the author well, but truly found this fascinating. No particular critical response...just enjoyed the essays immensely.
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Ntozake Shange (pronounced En-toe-ZAHK-kay SHONG-gay) is an African-American playwright, performance artist, and writer who is best known for her Obie Award winning play for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf.

Among her honors and awards are fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, and a Pushcart Prize.
More about Ntozake Shange...
for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo Ellington Was Not a Street Some Sing, Some Cry Coretta Scott

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