New York: DAW Books, Inc., 1984.
Paperback. 7" X 4 1/8". 301pp. Moderate edgewear to pictorial paper wraps, featuring cover art by Jill Bauman. Creasing to corners and to spine. Slight lean to spine. Binding is sound. Previous owner's name to first page. Pages are gently age-toned, else 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 presentable early printing, with the original cover art by Jill Bauman, 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. Good. Item #5364