A mind-expanding, deeply humane tour of language(s) - and those who speak, study, and invent them - by the bestselling author of BORN ON A BLUE DAY and THINKING IN NUMBERS.
Is vocabulary destiny? Why do clocks 'talk' to the Nahua people of Mexico? Will A.I. researchers ever produce true human-machine dialogue? In this mesmerizing collection of essays, Daniel Tammet answers these and many other questions about the intricacy and profound power of language.
In EVERY WORD IS A BIRD WE TEACH TO SING, Tammet goes back in time to explore the numeric language of his autistic childhood; in Iceland, he learns why the name Bl r became a court case; in Canada, he meets one of the world's most accomplished lip readers. He chats with chatbots; contrives an 'e'-less essay on lipograms; studies the grammar of the telephone; contemplates the significance of disappearing dialects; and corresponds with native Esperanto speakers - in their mother tongue.
A joyous romp through the world of words, letters, stories, and meanings, EVERY WORD IS A BIRD WE TEACH TO SING explores the way communication shapes reality. From the art of translation to the lyricism of sign language, these essays display the stunning range of Tammet's literary and polyglot talents.
How many mathematicians are dazzling storytellers as well? What a joy to read an author whose dexterity with digits is matched by his wisdom with words. - David Eagleman, PhD, neuroscientist, author of Incognito and Sum
Tammet is a master of gleaning profound insights from seemingly mundane trivia...This is a delightful book. - Publishers Weekly
A mind-expanding, kinetic aesthetic experience. Tammet's poetic mathematics are beautiful guideposts for thinking about life and even love. - Amy Tan
Enlarges one's wonder at Tammer's mind and his all-embracing vision of the world as grounded in numbers - Oliver Sacks, MD
Always informative, always entertaining, Daniel Tammet never loses his respect for the mystery of the universe of number. - J. M. Coetzee
Praise for BORN ON A BLUE DAY: 'A memoir of outstanding lucidity and charm' - The Sunday Times
A engrossing blend of autobiography, mathematical theory, and 'what if' speculations, Daniel Tammet's essays allow us to see the world through the lens of numbers. The result is fascinating, even dizzying series of fresh perspectives on things we thought we knew. - Billy Collins
'Admirably modest but affecting autobiography by a man blessed with incredible mental gifts but struggling with Asperger's' - The Sunday Times - top choice of books 'you really must read'
A memoir of outstanding lucidity and charm - The Sunday Times on BORN ON A BLUE DAY
A joyous romp through the world of words, letters, stories, and meanings - Queensland Times
Admirably modest but affecting autobiography by a man blessed with incredible mental gifts but struggling with Asperger's - The Sunday Times
Praise for EMBRACING THE WIDE SKY: 'Entertaining and informative about an impressive range of subjects . . . EMBRACING THE WIDE SKY is fun and inspirational' - FT Weekend