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    9780735281516 Paperback / softback, Trade, , $19.95 CAD 9781039001213 Downloadable audio file, $29.95 CAD 9781039001220 Downloadable audio file 9780593346082 Paperback / softback, Trade, , $39 CAD 9780593348864 Downloadable audio file, $23 CAD 9780735281509 Electronic book text, Reflowable, , EPUB
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    Distributor: Random House, Inc. Availability: On Sale Date:Jan 05, 2021 Carton Quantity:12 $29.95 CAD
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The Liar's Dictionary
By (author): Eley Williams
9780735281493 Hardcover English General Trade FICTION / Absurdist Jan 05, 2021
$29.95 CAD
Active 5.6 x 8.5 x 1.1 in | 0.98 lb 288 pages Knopf Random Vintage Canada Knopf Canada
An exhilarating, clever, funny debut novel from a prize-winning talent, chronicling the misadventures of a lovelorn Victorian lexicographer and the young woman who decodes his trail of made-up words a century later. Will enthrall readers of CS Richardson, Helen Simonson’s Major Pettigrew and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.

Mountweazel n. the phenomenon of false entries within dictionaries and works of reference. Often used as a safeguard against copyright infringement.

Peter Winceworth is a lexicographer in Victorian-era London, toiling away at the letter “S” for a multi-volume Encyclopaedic Dictionary. Secretly, he begins to insert unauthorized fictitious entries into the dictionary in an attempt to assert some artistic freedom.

In the present day, Mallory is a young intern employed by the same publisher. Her task is to uncover these mountweazels before the dictionary is digitized. She also has to contend with threatening phone calls from an anonymous caller. Why, she wonders, is the change in the definition of “marriage” so upsetting to the caller? And does the caller really intend for the publisher’s staff to “burn in hell”?

As these two narratives, characters and times entwine, both Winceworth and Mallory discover how they might negotiate the complexities of the nonsensical, relentless, untrustworthy, hoax-strewn and undefinable path we call life. An exhilarating debut from a formidably brilliant young writer, The Liar’s Dictionary celebrates the rigidity, fragility, absurdity and joy of language.

Story Locale: London, UK

WORD NERD CATNIP: The endlessly inventive wordplay is a delight on every page. This hilarious, endearing and wildly original novel is going to be taken to heart by booksellers, librarians and “book people” everywhere.

CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED AUTHOR: Williams’ short story collection Attrib. was published by a tiny independent press in the UK and became a literary sensation, winning the James Tait Black Prize and longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Doubleday will be publishing Attrib. in the US as a paperback original. (Details TK)

LITERARY COOL KID: Williams’ work has received ecstatic praise from Max Porter, Sarah Perry, and Melissa Harrison and she also counts Sally Rooney, Olivia Laing and Jon McGregor among her many fans. We expect fabulous blurbs and big-name review attention.

UK COATTAILS: An eagerly awaited novel in the UK, on every major “Most Anticipated” list, Heinemann will publish in July 2020, with us following in Fall 2020 with their reviews and potential prize nominations to fuel our fire.

ELEY WILLIAMS is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She is the author of Attrib. and her work has appeared in The Penguin Book of the Contemporary British Short Story, Liberating the Canon, The Times Literary Supplement, and the London Review of Books. She lives in London, UK.

Author Residence: London, UK

Author Website: eleywilliams.com/

Author Social Media: Twitter: @GiantRatSumatra

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

The Liar’s Dictionary is the book I was longing for. So eudaemonical, so felicific and habile! A harlequinade of cachinnation! It’s hilarious and smart and charming and I loved it. Read it. It’s the book you’re longing for.” —Andrew Sean Greer, 2018 Pulitzer Prize winner for Less

“Infused with the essence of Wodehouse and Wilde, The Liar’s Dictionary is by turns madly eccentric, gracefully poignant, and laugh-out-loud funny. Eley Williams confirms her abilities as virtuoso wordsmith, offering an homage to the oddball-ishness of English (both the language and the nationality), as well as cautionary tales regarding, among other topics, the wrestling of pelicans and the ribald nature of certain museum statuary.” —CS Richardson, author of The End of the Alphabet

“An improbably enchanting, rollicking novel about two generations of put-upon London lexicographers,The Liar’s Dictionary is positively intoxicated with the joy and wonder of language, both authentic and, often hilariously, counterfeit, and I can assure you that it’s quite the contact high. Eley Williams brings erudition and playfulness—and lovely sweetness—to every page.” —Benjamin DreyerNew York Times bestselling author of Dreyer’s English 

“[W]onderful…. This book takes the most unpromising of heroes—two lexicographers—and then sets them loose in an effervescent romp about language, love and life. If you like puns, crosswords, Scrabble, the Urban Dictionary or simply enjoy witty writing, this sweet, slyly structured, unexpectedly touching book will go down like a hot fudge sundae…. Every page is intoxicated with words…. It is never less than a delight and a wise one at that.” —John Powers, NPR

“A virtuoso performance full of charm…It’s simultaneously a love story, an office comedy, a sleuth mystery and a slice of gaslit late Victoriana…The Liar’s Dictionary is a glorious novel—a perfectly crafted investigation of our ability to define words and their power to define us.” —The Guardian

“Perfectly calibrated…For a novel as finely tuned as this, to leave one with a sense of the intoxicating hopefulness of chance is its greatest achievement in a competitive field.” —Los Angeles Review of Books 

“[A] pitch-perfect lexical romp filled with flawed-but-adorable characters and delightfully inventive words…. [B]e prepared to be dazzled.” —South China Morning Post

“A remarkable novel…Original and often very funny, The Liar’s Dictionary is an offbeat exploration of both the delights of language and its limitations.” —Sunday Times (UK)

“Comically inventine…The author combines a Nabokovian love of wordplay with an Ali Smith–like ability to create eccentric characters who will take up permanent residence in the reader’s heart. This is a sheer delight for word lovers.” —Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

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