"Sticks and stones" had it wrong: words can hurt you, as elementary school teacher Jon Wanamaker learns while working to preserve a dying language. Already mired in the aftermath of a failed marriage, Jon is suddenly tormented by ghostly, ribbon-like sentences that stream across his vision, wrenching him in and out of consciousness.

But are they simply hallucinations, or something more, as the sniper searching for him—and the ex-wife he still loves—suspect?

The startling answers promise to unlock new frontiers… if Jon can avoid falling prey to the Mother Tongue.


Edited By Betsy Mitchell

Cover by Jeroen Ten Berge

"A smart, unorthodox, and delectable superpower tale... (with) a smashing final act." — Kirkus Reviews

“Are ghostly echoes of ancient languages accessible to some among us? Cray's novel deftly explores such questions through an unexpected and engaging storyline.”

– The BookLife Prize (Publisher's Weekly)