cover image Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen

Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen

Mary Norris. Norton, $25.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-324-00127-0

New Yorker copy editor Norris (Between You and Me), known for her Comma Queen videos on grammar and style, once again takes readers on an entertaining, erudite, and altogether delightful journey fueled by the love of language. Here, she chronicles her passion for all things Greek, both classical and modern. Denied a chance to study Latin in fifth grade, Norris took that latent enthusiasm for the ancients and applied it to Greek as an adult, even convincing her New Yorker supervisors to subsidize her classical Greek classes as an aid to her copyediting duties. In addition to recounting her scholastic adventures, the book recounts her successive travels through Greece, which she explored with ever-increasing linguistic skill. Norris’s lively travel log skillfully meshes autobiographical anecdotes, self-reflection, and explorations of mythology—on her first trip, she gets up early during an overnight ferry ride, hoping “to catch Homer’s famed rhododáctylos, the rosy fingers of dawn.” At the center of it all is her passion for Greek, a language often “held to be impenetrable,” yet which gives her “an erotic thrill, as if every verb and noun had some visceral connection to what it stands for.” For those who have long followed the Comma Queen, her latest outing will not disappoint. (Apr.)