Postmodern Identity Crisis:
Confessions of a Linguistic Historiographer and Romance Writer
My name is Julie, and I write romances.
Over the years, I have sometimes felt like I am at an unofficial AA meeting where I must confess to my romance writing behavior. Other times, I have made it a political gesture to come out of the closet and admit it. As a member of the English Department at Duke University where I teach linguistics, I publish scholarly books and articles with titles like “The Behaviorist Turn in Recent Theories of Language” and “Signs and Systems in Condillac and Saussure.” I also write historical romances with titles like And Heaven Too, Simon’s Lady, and Tangled Dreams. I love linguistics, but I feel passionate about romance.
In I994, I was invited by the Psychology Department at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, to give a series of lectures on the current state of evolutionary scripts for the development of human language in the species. When several psychologists at Western Michigan learned that I wrote (and actually published!) popular romances, I was asked to give yet another lecture, jointly sponsored by the creative writing program, where I would explain this unusual combination of writing interests: obscure linguistic theories and mass-market romance. Read more (PDF)
Tetel Andresen is the author of Linguistics in America, 1769-1924: A Critical History. She has also published 3 novellas, 14 historical novels, and 3 time-slips novels.