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My Broken Language


A Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright tells her lyrical coming of age story in a ...
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My Broken Language is nonfiction, but Quiara relies on many techniques important to fiction writing. What sort of narrative voice has she chosen to use?

Created: 01/06/22

Replies: 5

Posted Jan. 06, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2913

My Broken Language is nonfiction, but Quiara relies on many techniques important to fiction writing. What sort of narrative voice has she chosen to use?

My Broken Language is nonfiction, but Quiara relies on many techniques important to fiction writing. What sort of narrative voice has she chosen to use? She has chosen to portray her parents and relatives as adults seen from a child's point of view, rather than from that of an omniscient narrator. How do you think it enhances or detracts from the book's impact?


Posted Jan. 07, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 265

RE: My Broken Language is nonfiction, ...

She uses the first person but comes off like an observer and that could be because she used a child’s point of view in most if the book. This annoyed me at times as I read the book.


Posted Jan. 09, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 231

RE: My Broken Language is nonfiction, ...

I think Quiara's perspective of her parents is actually one most of us have - as the child. It's difficult to break those viewpoints and our lens is formed where it first came into being. Even though it may shift as we mature and develop, that initial viewpoint is the foundation. In other words, when my siblings and I gather, we tend to revert to our earlier "roles" and personalities. My parents are both deceased but until their deaths, I viewed them through the lens of their child.


Posted Jan. 10, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ssh

Join Date: 02/04/14

Posts: 51

RE: My Broken Language is nonfiction, ...

I saw Quiara as more of an observer also, even though she related it through first person. It left me feeling that this book was fiction combined with non-fiction - or at least a very personal interpretation of what happened. So, it did not really leave me feeling as though I had read non-fiction. I do think we each have our personal interpretation of events of our youth. I have three siblings and as we talk now (as seniors), we each sometimes have different perspectives on some of the things we all remember.


Posted Feb. 03, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gaylamath

Join Date: 02/11/20

Posts: 39

RE: My Broken Language is nonfiction, ...

I didn't realize that it was nonfiction when I requested it as I don't usually read a lot of NF. However, her writing skills brought it to life, it read more like fiction and I think that is why I really liked reading it.


Posted Feb. 13, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 249

RE: My Broken Language is nonfiction, ...

As others have said, a lot of her technique is writing as an observer, but I felt she was at her best when chronicling her reactions to things that happened. As she ages in the pages of the memoir, her observations become more astute. I'm with Lin-Manuel Miranda, when he says on the book jacket, "Her sentences will take your breath away." Many of her sentences did just that to me. I wrote what is probably my longest commentary ever on Goodreads about this book. I found myself quoting several passages in their entirety. I for one am glad Quiara followed the advice of her teacher and mentor Paula Vogel to not be afraid to "break" the language.


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