: On Longing and Belonging Through Language writers examine their intimate relationship with language in essays that are compelling and captivating. There are over 200 mother tongues spoken in Canada, and at least 5.8 million Canadians use two or more languages at home. This vital anthology opens a dialogue about this unique language diversity and probes the importance of language in our identity and the ways in which it shapes us.In this collection of deeply personal essays, twenty-six writers explore their connection with language, accents, and vocabularies, and contend with the ways they can be used as both bridge and weapon. Some explore the way power and privilege affect language learning, especially the shame and exclusion often felt by non-native English speakers in a white, settler, colonial nation. Some confront the pain of losing a mother tongue or an ancestral language along with the loss of community and highlight the empowerment that comes with reclamation. Others celebrate the joys of learning a new language and the power of connection. All underscore how language can offer transformation and collective healing to various communities.
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