“This book brings together twelve authors who look at the concept of the “word” from several different perspectives, inspiring in the reader a sense of wonder–to think of the lowly word, which we toss away in yesterday’s newspaper, which we ignore on street signs, which we utter without giving a thought to the consequences of the power carried by the word.
Moving from a psycholinguist explanation of the acquisition of language, the volume presents the function of the word in “bad” jokes, in propaganda, and in empowerment, from rhetorical strategies to poetry to silence. This volume explores a subject which can never be discussed completely: the word. Acknowledging this incompleteness, this volume nevertheless provides such insights that will allow the readers to see the word as a powerful instrument for changing the world in which they live.”
Pamela June’s chapter on Gloria Naylor’s novel Mama Day explores how language provides new ways of knowing and remembering. By connecting the memories of a community through storytelling, histories can be restored.