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The Beauty in Finding ‘Other People’s Words’ in Your Own

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Lissa Soep's new book is "Other People's Words." (Photo Courtesy of Lissa Soep)

About ten years ago, two of journalist Lissa Soep’s closest friends died around the same time. In her grieving, she found consolation in the philosophy of a 20th century Russian literary theorist, Mikhail Bakhtin, and his theory of “double voicing” –  the idea that our speech is “filled to overflowing with other people’s words”. Her friends had not disappeared, instead, they’d slipped into her own language, and that of the people around her. We talk to Soep about great friendships, the mysterious power of language to sustain conversations even with those who have died and her book, “Other People’s Words.”


Lissa Soep, author, "Other People's Words: Friendship, Loss and the Conversations that Never End." She is also senior editor for audio at Vox Media


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