I found the fix!

apt-get install ruby-pango

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https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/1633935

Title:
  Inkscape freezes when selecting font

Status in inkscape package in Ubuntu:
  New

Bug description:
  If you perform the following steps, Inkscape freezes. It's a
  showstopper of using Inkscape at all with fonts.

  1. Launch Inkscape.
  2. On the new document, click the A on the left toolbar to create a new 
textbox.
  3. Drag a marquee in your document for the size of your textbox.
  4. Type the text "This is a test" and then choose Select All to select it all.
  5. Click the T in the top toolbar to open the Text and Font control panel.
  6. Choose DejaVu Sans.
  7. Put another window on top of the current window, such as switch to a web 
browser.
  8. Come back to Inkscape -- it won't repaint the window because it's frozen.

  Alternatively, you can also recreate the bug this way too:

  1. Launch Inkscape.
  2. On the new document, click the A on the left toolbar to create a new 
textbox.
  3. Drag a marquee in your document for the size of your textbox.
  4. Type the text "This is a test" and then choose Select All to select it all.
  5. Click the T in the top toolbar to open the Text and Font control panel.
  6. Choose DejaVu Sans.
  7. Set the font size to 48 from the Font Size: selector on that control 
panel. You'll notice that the dropdown occurs, when you select it, Inkscape 
freezes.

  Note that I'm running Inkscape 0.91 on Lubuntu Desktop 16.04 inside
  Oracle Virtualbox version 5.0.26 r108824 on a Mac Air 13" running OSX
  10.12 (Sierra) and have loaded the Virtualbox extensions. Note that I
  also tried the following things to see if they fixed the problem:

  - full apt-get update; apt-get upgrade; apt-get dist-upgrade, reboot,
  and tried that again

  - apt purge fonts-noto-cjk

  - tried briefly the latest stable PPA of Inkscape from Inkscape.org in
  my apt, and upgrade to the latest Inkscape -- that failed, so I did a
  purge remove of that version of inkscape, removed the PPA, redid my
  apt-get update, and installed the version that comes with Ubuntu 16.04
  (Inkscape 0.91).

  - unset GTK_IM_MODULE && inkscape

  All failed to show any fix.

  
  All failed to show any different result.

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