AustLit logo
My First and Second Language single work   autobiography  
Issue Details: First known date: 2019... 2019 My First and Second Language
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Oh, you're going to have an advantage over me,' the white woman says with a wide smile. We're the first two to arrive for Arabic 101. I make a sound and the sound dies between us. I would describe it but I don't know what it was, having never made it before nor since. If I were to imagine what it was most like sonically, I would say shame. I am the 29-year-old son of Lebanese and Turkish migrants, my father and mother were born in Turkey and Lebanon respectively, so they learned English in addition to their own languages, and yet I have only one tongue today. One tongue resting on slivers of everything my family have said and that I never understood as clearly or as deeply as I understood Josephine, the white woman in class that day. Our teacher, a Palestinian author and academic who grew up in Beirut, agreed with her, saying in the thick accent I know better than any other, 'Yes, colloquially, he will have advantage.' Though they used largely the same words, they were saying different things, and they were both wrong.' (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Meanjin vol. 78 no. 1 Autumn 2019 16531898 2019 periodical issue

    'We were just a little surprised when the Australia Council said yes. But then a year later—as you were—they said no.

    'Three years back, when the council redrew the map of arts funding, Meanjin lost its rolling three-year key organisation grant, a pattern that had allowed if not luxury then a degree of certainty. Money was the root of it all: the council’s budget had been gutted and cuts had to be made. Whatever discomforting ripples were felt through opera, ballet and theatre companies had become a toxic trickle by the time the tide of change made its way down the funding food chain to bodies whose business was literature.' (Jonathan Green, Introduction)

    pg. 90-95
Last amended 16 May 2019 06:42:36
Informit * Subscription service. Check your library.
    Powered by Trove