The Book Club of the Garrettsville Branch of the Portage County District Library recently hosted a queen at their pot luck supper, held in the meeting room on January 17, 2017. The royal personage was Mary Norris, author of Between You and Me—Confessions of a Comma Queen (available at the library). The excellent repast (Good soup, John) was spiced with questions and answers concerning her years at The New Yorker, her preparation for the position of copy editor at that iconic publication, how publishing has changed and is changing and other far-ranging inquiries about writing and reading and the literary life. Books seem to be holding their own in the publishing world; newspapers are struggling. Discussions touched on closing deadlines, fact-checkers, the movement to electronic media, the elements of style—at The New Yorker and elsewhere—the movement of the publications offices, the New York scene, writing to pay the rent, the uses of punctuation. A masters in English was just the beginning, freelancing provided another background element. Fundamental to the whole career is the belief that people have a stake in the English Language and its usage with maximum clarity. The author is also fascinated with the Greek language and Greece itself; another book is taking shape. All of the above elements will, no doubt, appear as well.
At the conclusion of the well-appreciated meal, Ms. Norris was bidden farewell as she was whisked off—alas, no royal carriage—to Hiram College for further literary expositions.
The Book Club is open to all; check at the PCDL Garrettsville branch for more information.