Greek to Me
Adventures of the Comma Queen
by Mary Norris
Pub Date 02 Apr 2019
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The Comma Queen returns with a buoyant book about language, love, and the wine-dark sea.
In her New York Times bestseller Between You & Me, Mary Norris delighted readers with her irreverent tales of pencils and punctuation in The New Yorker’s celebrated copy department.
In Greek to Me, she delivers another wise and funny paean to the art of self-expression, this time filtered through her greatest passion: all things Greek. Greek to Me is a charming account of Norris’s lifelong love affair with words and her solo adventures in the land of olive trees and ouzo. Along the way, Norris explains how the alphabet originated in Greece, makes the case for Athena as a feminist icon, goes searching for the fabled Baths of Aphrodite, and reveals the surprising ways Greek helped form English.
Filled with Norris’s memorable encounters with Greek words, Greek gods, Greek wine—and more than a few Greek men—Greek to Me is the Comma Queen’s fresh take on Greece and the exotic yet strangely familiar language that so deeply influences our own.
A Note From the Publisher
LibraryReads votes due by 3/1.
“What a fantastic book! Not only is Greek to Me educational, entertaining, and gorgeously written, it shows us how intellectual curiosity coupled with a dash of bravery can pave the way for a more meaningful life. Mary Norris does for Greek and Greece what Cheryl Strayed did for hiking. Readers will long to follow in her footsteps.” - Ann Patchett
“I fell in love with Mary Norris’s first book, and am now even more in love with this charming, ribald, highly informed, and always funny excursion through the language, culture, and oddities of Greece and the Greek language. An adventure tale for intellectuals—and also for the rest of us.” - Steve Martin
“In Greek to Me, Mary Norris’ love for all things Greek is palpable and infectious. She is a charming, insightful guide through both ancient and modern glories, and I expect her lush descriptions of the Greek countryside to provoke a tourism stampede.” - Madeline Miller, best-selling author of Circe
“As a reader, I would follow the writer Mary Norris wherever she goes, and I found myself enthralled by this wondrous journey through Greek myths and language and art. Norris brings everything into the glimmering light—most of all the beauty of words.” - David Grann
“Poignant, antic, hilarious, Mary Norris is the definition of wearing your learning lightly, and after a lifetime of Greek immersion, pouring beer libations, and skinny-dipping in the waters of Aphrodite, her lessons slip down sweetly. This book is true ambrosia.” - Caroline Fraser
“Mary Norris, our master grammarian, proves that knowing the rules sets you free. Here she writes about Greek language, culture, and mythology with an untrammeled grace that’s a delight to read and, almost incidentally, a demonstration of high-level literary skill. Greek to Me is a book to dive into—a page-turning and wonderful achievement.” - Ian Frazier