The World – Other Languages
“Mom, it’s not rooster! The class list is called ROSTER!”
My family makes fun of me all the time because even after 20 years living my life in English and with two American children, I still mispronounce a lot of words. In English, I found my fiction voice, even if I still fight (a lot) with prepositions.
The English language gave me the freedom to reinvent myself after I left my native Brazil for good. Portuguese belongs to a different part of my life and sometimes it confines me there as in a straightjacket. My second language instead, allows me to go naked in public, with no fear to be who I am.
Between Portuguese and English, there’s another chapter of my life: Italian, the language I chose from my heart. No, I don’t have an Italian background, it’s pure love. Years ago, I spend some time in Italy and studied at the University of Perugia. Today I teach Creative Writing at the Writing Institute – Sarah Lawrence College and also Italian at Bronxville Adult School, realizing that I don’t need to make choices between writing fiction and being an Italian maestra. They are both part of who I am and complement each other very well, as in a recipe for pizza dough: mix all the ingredients and kneed them with love for a long time. The energy of your fingers will create a pie that is unique, like DNA.