Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

There are not enough superlatives for Mary Norris’s clever, canny, entrancing, and enchanting new book. Writing on her most beloved topic, language (especially Greek), Norris gives readers a fascinating etymological education as she relates her own personal journey. Her topics range from the influence of Greek on many alphabets and its constant appearance in spelling bees, to its importance in theatre. One of the book’s strengths is Norris’s delightful sense of humor as she peppers the book with puns and other forms of wordplay. Throughout, Norris lovingly guides the reader through a heady Greek-centric lesson on linguistics, culture, and history. -Holly

— From Spring Booknotes 2019

April 2019 Indie Next List

“What a pleasure to again spend a few hours with Mary Norris. The author of Between You & Me is back with a second book, and this time her subject is all things Greek — the language, the people, the mythology, and the culture.Greek to Me recounts Norris’ experiences learning Greek and traveling the country while putting her new skills to the test. As in her first book, Norris is excellent company, spinning tales and charming readers. Blending memoir, history, and travel, all topped off with heaps of wordy nerdiness, Greek to Me is a joy to read.”
— David Enyeart, Common Good Books, St. Paul, MN


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.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781324001270
ISBN-10: 1324001275
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2019
Pages: 240
Language: English