Ayelet Tsabari’s Featured Book

Tongues: On Longing and Belonging Through Language

In Tongues: 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.

With contributions by: Kamal Al-Solaylee, Jenny Heijun Wills, Karen McBride, Melissa Bull, Leonarda Carranza, Adam Pottle, Kai Cheng Thom, Sigal Samuel, Rebecca Fisseha, Logan Broeckaert, Taslim Jaffer, Ashley Hynd, Jagtar Kaul Atwal, Téa Mutonji, Rowan McCandless, Sahar Golshan, Camila Justino, Amanda Leduc, Ayelet Tsabari, Carrianne Leung, Janet Hong, Danny Ramadan, Sadiqa de Meijer, Jónína Kirton, and Eufemia Fantetti.

Buy the Book:
Owl’s Nest Books (Calgary) | Shelf Life Books (Calgary) | Audreys Books (Edmonton) | Glass Bookshop (Edmonton) | Flying Books (Ontario) | Massy Books (B.C.) | Indigo

Borrow the Book from the Library:
Calgary Public Library

Ayelet Tsabari’s Other Book

The Art of Leaving: A Memoir

This searching collection opens with the death of Ayelet Tsabari’s father when she was just nine years old. His passing left her feeling rootless, devastated, and driven to question her complex identity as an Israeli of Yemeni descent in a country that suppressed and devalued her ancestors’ traditions.

In The Art of Leaving, Tsabari tells her story, from her early love of writing and words, to her rebellion during her mandatory service in the Israeli army. She travels from Israel to New York, Canada, Thailand, and India, falling in and out of love with countries, men and women, drugs and alcohol, running away from responsibilities and refusing to settle in one place. She recounts her first marriage, her struggle to define herself as a writer in a new language, her decision to become a mother, and finally her rediscovery and embrace of her family history – a history marked by generations of headstrong women who struggled to choose between their hearts and their homes. Eventually, she realizes that she must reconcile the memories of her father and the sadness of her past if she is ever going to come to terms with herself.

With fierce, emotional prose, Ayelet Tsabari crafts a beautiful meditation about the lengths we will travel to try to escape our grief, the universal search to find a place where we belong, and the sense of home we eventually find within ourselves.

Buy the Book:
Owl’s Nest Books (Calgary) | Shelf Life Books (Calgary) | Audreys Books (Edmonton) | Glass Bookshop (Edmonton) | Flying Books (Ontario) | Massy Books (B.C.) | Indigo

Borrow the Book from the Library:
Calgary Public Library

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