cover image Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen

Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen

Mary Norris, read by the author. Recorded Books, , unabridged, 7 CDs, 8 hrs., $29.99 ISBN 978-1-4906-7379-0

Norris is not a professional actor, and at times her performance betrays that lack of training. She breathes audibly and nasally before reading long passages, and she often punctuates the narration with long sighs. Sometimes these sighs are entirely appropriate, however, such as when she expresses her self-disgust about the time she erroneously addressed a transgender family member by the wrong pronoun, or when she relays her irritation at Charles Dickens’s penchant for gratuitous commas. But since she’s reading her own story—a memoir covering over three decades as a copy editor at the New Yorker—all of those feel like natural, conversational quirks, not problems. Norris’s gravelly voice guides us through the many jobs she held before joining the literary magazine, the thrill she experienced when she first caught mistake, and her thoughts about the ways the English language is evolving. Throughout, her enthusiasm is clear as she recounts pilgrimages to Melville’s study and a pencil museum, or dishes on some of the literary giants she’s been privileged to edit. [em]A Norton hardcover. (Apr.) [/em]