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COMING SEPTEMBER 24, 2024

Fans of the self-discovering journeys in Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and Andrew McCarthy’s The Longest Way Home will love diving into linguist Linda Murphy Marshall’s adventure-filled international journey as she overcomes her past to find her place in the world—all over the world.

Immersion is a memoir that takes the reader on a captivating emotional and physical journey through Linda Murphy Marshall’s life: from the longstanding, crippling impact of family members’ low expectations and abuse, to her discovery as a young adult that she possesses special skills in foreign languages.

Linda is taught from an early age that she has little of value to offer the world. But her love of and affinity for languages enables her to create a new life—to separate herself from her toxic environment and to build a successful, decades-long career as a professional multilinguist. It’s a rewarding vocation, but a challenging one: her assignments with the US federal government take her on some hair-raisingly dangerous journeys, some to countries with unstable governments and even active war zones. But these sometimes-harrowing experiences teach her how to open the “windows” around her, unearth her true self, and develop a healthy sense of self-worth—and ultimately, paradoxically, her work and travel so far from home allow her to come home to herself.

Praise for Immersion: A Linguist’s Memoir

“A fluent and far-ranging celebration of communication and world travel.” Kirkus Reviews

Languages open up opportunities, according the memoir Immersion, which is about staying true to one’s authentic identity…the book ably imparts a sense of the universality of the human condition, capturing feelings like grief and gratitude in time with Marshall’s poignant, ongoing search for her sense of self. The more she learned, the more secure she became, including in her burgeoning feminism and sense of personal power.”
Foreword Clarion Reviews

Fans of the self-discovering journeys in Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and Andrew McCarthy’s The Longest Way Home will love diving into linguist Linda Murphy Marshall’s adventure-filled international journey as she overcomes her past to find her place in the world—all over the world. Immersion is a memoir that takes the reader on a captivating emotional and physical journey through Linda Murphy Marshall’s life: from the longstanding, crippling impact of family members’ low expectations and abuse, to her discovery as a young adult that she possesses special skills in foreign languages. Linda is taught from an early age that she has little of value to offer the world. But her love of and affinity for languages enables her to create a new life—to separate herself from her toxic environment and to build a successful, decades-long career as a professional multilinguist. It’s a rewarding vocation, but a challenging one: her assignments with the US federal government take her on some hair-raisingly dangerous journeys, some to countries with unstable governments and even active war zones. But these sometimes-harrowing experiences teach her how to open the “windows” around her, unearth her true self, and develop a healthy sense of self-worth—and ultimately, paradoxically, her work and travel so far from home allow her to come home to herself.
BookLife

Author Linda Murphy Marshall plunges readers into the mission of a government multi-linguist who battles her own self-doubts and fears in the midst of often tumultuous and frightening environments. Immersion – A Linguist’s Memoir is a fascinating exploration of not only the key role of language, but also the personal journey toward self-realization.”
–Donna Koros Stramella, author of Among the Bones

A talented linguist delves into the ambitious project of translating her past. From small-town America to far-flung corners of the globe, Immersion illuminates one woman’s journey away from the well-trodden expectations of womanhood in favor of forging another path. With every place she travels, every language she learns, and every experience she studies and interprets along the way, the narrator becomes more fully her truest self.”
–Rachel Rueckert, author of East Winds: A Global Quest to Reckon with Marriage

With an artist’s eye for detail, and a skilled writer’s talent for capturing drama, Marshall created an enthralling narrative of her path to becoming a top national language expert, enduring dangerous missions, and her own journey to finding her true self in the process.  Unique and engrossing.”
— Laura Murray, Ph.D., President, National Museum of Language

How does a woman transform herself from a bored, mid-western housewife to an international linguist warding off thugs in Tanzania, wading through bomb debris in Kenya, deciphering code for the FBI in small African nations? Linda Murphy Marshall does it by giving herself over to her one true love: languages around the world, including Portuguese, Swahili, Amharic, Xhosa.  This stunning exploration of the sometimes painful, sometimes exhilarating process of learning to translate both words and her own changing identity is a remarkable tribute to Marshall’s talent and the transformative power of languages.”
–Barbara Hurd, author of The Epilogues

Few people are familiar with the position of ‘linguist” in intelligence work, but it is one of the most specialized and difficult jobs there is. Immersion draws back the veil on what it takes to fill this essential role: the deep love of language and culture, the determination to constantly challenge yourself, and the need for unfailing attention to detail. If you love languages, or know someone who does (particularly a young person considering a career in language), this memoir is a must-read.”
— Alma Katsu, former CIA officer, author of Red London, and former government director of the Center for the Advanced Study of Language

Immersion is scattered with diamonds, attracting every reader to different brilliant parts. Elegantly and eloquently, Marshall illuminates a linguist’s experience. For non-interpreters, Immersion is a glimpse into the challenges and gratification of a life spent with foreign languages and policy-makers. For interpreters, this is an affectionate and invigorating dialogue with an exceptionally gifted and gracious colleague.”
— Allison Hong Merrill, author of Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops

Marshall’s latest book is a deeply personal and marvelously authentic narrative told with humor, suspense, humility, and authority. Linda depicts how language is woven into real life, how it instills insights and affections, and what it reveals about others—and oneself. I have spent over seven decades learning, using, describing, and advocating for language abilities, and I only wish I had written a book like this.”
–Dr. Richard D. Brecht, University of Maryland Professor Emeritus, founding executive director of the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL)