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Ampersand Fall 2016 Dewey Diva Picks Adult Books

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The African Svelte
Ingenious Misspellings That Make Surprising Sense
By (author): Daniel Menaker Illustrated by: Roz Chast Foreword by: Billy Collins
9780544800632 Hardcover, Cloth over boards English HUMOR / Form / Puns & Wordplay Oct 18, 2016 Print Run: 40000
$29.00 CAD
Active 5 x 7 x 0.92 in 256 pages apx. 20 b-w illustrations Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Inspired by his tenure atThe New Yorker, this collection of comical, revelatory errors foraged from the wilds of everyday English comes with commentary by the author, illustrations by Roz Chast, and a foreword from Billy Collins.

During his time atThe New Yorker,Daniel Menaker happened across a superb spelling mistake: “The zebras were grazing on the African svelte." Fascinated by the idea of unintentionally meaningful spelling errors, he began to see that these gaffes—neither typos nor auto-corrects—are sometimes more interesting than theirstraight-lacedcounterparts. Through examples he has collected over the course of his decades-long career as an editor and writer, he brings us to a new understanding of language--how it's used, what it means, and what fun it can be.

Illustrated by the inimitable Roz Chast, with a foreword from former poet laureate Billy Collins,The African Svelteoffers thoughtful and intelligentexit Jesus.Menakerglances at familiar fumbles like "for all intensive purposes" and "doggy-dog world," but readers delighted by language will find themselves turning the pages withbaited breath to discover fresh howlers that have them laughing off theirdairy airs.

DANIEL MENAKER worked at theNew Yorkerand as editor-in-chief at Random House. He has written for theNew York Times, theAtlantic, Slate,and others.
ROZ CHAST has written or illustrated more than a dozen books, including her bestselling memoir,Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?.

"A clever book... Leavened by famously jittery drawings from Roz Chast, The African Svelte cleverly educes the 'literally poetic justice' of 'eeking out a living' or disguising your terrorist intent by 'wearing a baklava.'"

The Washington Post

"For language lovers, this book, with all its verbal tangles and wit, is sure to, in its own words, “pass mustard.” —Poets & Writers

"The African Svelte is a whole new comedy of errors. I like to split my bridges."
Roy Blount, Jr., author ofSave Room for Pie and many others

"Haul out the chaise lounge. Daniel Menaker has defied the spell checker tenaciously and redeemed the misspelled word with playful acuity. The department of corrections will never be the same. Paddy O'Furniture forever."
—Mary Norris, author ofBetween You and Me

"Call them eggcorns, malaprops, or ‘sveltes'— for Daniel Menaker, those happy accidents are the occasions for witty excursions down linguistic roads not taken. He had me from the gecko."
—Geoff Nunberg, author ofGoing Nucular and language commentator, NPR "Fresh Air"

"I've made a lot of missteaks, but none of them have been as smart or as funny as the ones in this book."
—Patricia Marx, author ofLet's Be Less Stupid

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