LANGUAGE ARTS

Stephanie Kallos

Sometimes the most powerful words are the ones you’re still searching for.

Charles Marlow teaches his high school students that language will expand their worlds. But linguistic skill cannot help him connect with his autistic son, his ex-wife, or his college-bound daughter. He’s at the end of a road he’s traveled for years when a series of unexpected events force him to reflect on the lifetime of decisions and indecisions that have brought him to this point. With the help of an ambitious art student, an Italian-speaking nun, and the memory of a boy in a white suit whose friendship both saved and condemned him,

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Sometimes the most powerful words are the ones you’re still searching for.

Charles Marlow teaches his high school students that language will expand their worlds. But linguistic skill cannot help him connect with his autistic son, his ex-wife, or his college-bound daughter. He’s at the end of a road he’s traveled for years when a series of unexpected events force him to reflect on the lifetime of decisions and indecisions that have brought him to this point. With the help of an ambitious art student, an Italian-speaking nun, and the memory of a boy in a white suit whose friendship both saved and condemned him, Charles may finally be able to rewrite the script of his life.

From the best-selling author of Broken for You and Sing Them Home, Language Arts is an affecting tale of love, loss, and language — its powers and its perils.

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  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Hardcover
  • June 2015
  • 416 Pages
  • 9780547939742

Buy the Book

$27.00

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About Stephanie Kallos

Stephanie Kallos was born in Idaho and grew up in Nebraska. Before coming out of the closet as a writer, she had a varied work history which included many years as a musician and a long career in the theatre as an actress and teacher of voice, speech, and dialects. Her short fiction has received a Raymond Carver Award and a Pushcart Prize nomination. Her first novel, Broken for You, was published in 2004; it was chosen by Sue Monk Kidd as a “Today Show” book club selection, and received the Washington State and PNBA Book Awards. Her second novel, Sing Them Home, was published in 2009; a Pacific NW Independent Booksellers bestseller, it was selected as a January ’09 IndieNext title. Stephanie lives with her family in a north Seattle neighborhood which has no sidewalks and looks very much like a small town. Sightings of men in kilts are common. Happily distracting her from writing are numerous unfinished knitting projects, a doe-eyed Labrador named Mr. Nick Tumnus, a pair of extremely vocal tabby cats, two adolescent boys who play brass instruments, and an eighty-voice Intergenerational Choir of Unitarians which she serves as Conductor. She is currently working on her third novel.

Praise

“For me, it would be plenty if a novel was deeply felt, utterly absorbing and full of wit. But in Language Arts, Stephanie Kallos goes further, throwing in a doozy of a twist that had me going back to page one to understand how she pulled off such dazzling sleight of hand. An all-around delight.”—Maria Semple, bestselling author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

“Language Arts was like yoga for my heart—my sentiments were stretched and strengthened, my imagination challenged and contorted, and when I finished, I felt grateful for this beautifully honest, lyrical journey. I loved this book.”—Jamie Ford, bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

“Kallos’ earlier novels, Broken for You and Sing Them Home, have been widely praised, and her third deserves all of those kudos and more. This novel, masterfully plotted and written, is a wondrously beautiful story of love and loss, offering hope in the face of the harshest reality.”–Booklist (starred review)

Touchingly humane and impressive in scope…A voluminous novel exploring words and expression, parenting and letting go.”—Kirkus Reviews