New York: DAW Books, Inc., 1984.
First Edition. Paperback. First Printing, August 1984, with full number line. 7" X 4 1/8". 301pp, plus ads, including laid in Science Fiction Book Club mailer. Moderate edgewear to pictorial paper wraps, featuring cover art by Jill Bauman. Printer's error: raised red metallic title offset, covering tagline on front cover. Light creasing to spine. All edges yellow. Binding is firm, tight, and sound. Pages are clean and unmarked. Published in 1984, while Margaret Atwood was in the middle of writing The Handmaid's Tale, Native Tongue is the first in a dystopian trilogy that imagines a future America where women no longer have legal rights and the earth's financial wellbeing depends on a line of linguists who breed women to birth and to become ideal translators of alien languages before they send them to "Barren Houses." The women of the linguist lines, however, have for generations been secretly crafting a language of their own, a language of revolution. Professor of linguistics Patricia Anne Wilkins (1936–2015) began writing science fiction under the pen name Suzette Haden Elgin as a widowed single mother trying to put herself through college in the 1960s. The language developed in Native Tongue is the constructed language Láadan which Elgin engineered and of which there are a handful of speakers in the world today. A very presentable first printing of this classic of feminist science fiction, recently brought back to print by the Feminist Press at CUNY.
“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. Very good +. Item #5362