The Language of Good-bye

By Maribeth Fischer
(Plume, Paperback, 9780452283091, 352pp.)

Publication Date: March 1, 2002

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What is the cost of leaving a country, a child, a marriage? What is the cost of not leaving? These are the questions at the heart of The Language of Good-bye, Maribeth Fischer's powerful and provocative debut novel.

For Annie and Will, who have left their marriages to be together, the future is fraught with the complications of starting over. Both have left pieces of themselves behind: For Annie, it is the husband and friend she has known since childhood; for Will, it is the five-year-old daughter he adores. And for the Korean-born Sungae, one of Annie's English-as-a-second-language students, it is a search for the words that will help her resolve the sorrows of her tragic history.

As Sungae struggles with the new language and with her memories, her story unfolds in ways that will have profound consequences not only for Sungae, but for Annie, Will, and their former spouses. A lyrical and deeply moving novel about love, loss, and language-and about confronting life's tough choices-The Language of Good-bye "weaves a wonderful story [about] letting go of the past and moving forward into the future" (Gail Tsukiyama, author of The Language of Threads).

About the Author

Maribeth Fischer is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and the Smartt Family Prize. She has taught creative writing and English as a second language in Baltimore. Her essays have appeared in Best American Essays, The Iowa Review, The Yale Review, and the Pushcart Prize XX: Best of the Small Presses.

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