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A multiple emigre, Elena Lappin could describe her life as "five languages in search of an author." She was born into Russian; transposed into Czech, then German; introduced to Hebrew; and, finally, adopted by English.Taking its title from a question once asked of her,What Language Do You Dream In?is Lappin's memoir about language and memory. It examines her life through the prism of the languages through which she has experienced it. Each language marks and defines a distinct period of her life, and each gets close attention on its own terms. Lappin's life is also a story of the way the languagesRussian, Czech, German, Hebrew, and Englishand the periods of her life define, intersect, and anticipate one another.What Language Do You Dream In?demonstrates how the languages she speaks define parts of her identity, and how they connect to create the individual she is today.What Language Do You Dream In?is a moving and erudite memoir on the importance of language to who we are and an ode to the language that has given the author a home in exile.
Elena Lappin was born in Moscow and grew up in Prague and Hamburg. She has lived in Israel, Canada, and the United States and now lives in London with her husband and three children. She is the author of Foreign Brides (FSG, 1999) and The Nose.