Mary  Norris-Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen

Mary Norris


Mary Norris is a writer and editor who lives in New York City. Originally from Cleveland, she was educated at Rutgers University, in New Jersey, and at the University of Vermont. Her first book, the New York Times best-selling Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, was about her day job at The New Yorker, where she worked for over thirty years as a copy editor. Her new book is about what she did in her spare time: study Greek, travel in Greece, read the classics, and otherwise cultivate life as a philhellene.


Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen, Presented by the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University

New York Times best-selling Between You & Me, Mary Norris delighted readers with her irreverent tales of pencils, punctuation, and punctiliousness over three decades in The New Yorker's celebrated copy department. In Greek to Me, she delivers another wise and witty paean to the art of expressing oneself clearly and convincingly, this time filtered through her greatest passion: all things Greek. From convincing her New Yorker bosses to pay for Ancient Greek studies to traveling the sacred way in search of Persephone, Greek to Me is an unforgettable account of both her lifelong love affair with words and her solo adventures in the land of olive trees and ouzo. Along the way, Norris explains how the alphabet originated in Greece, makes the case for Athena as a feminist icon, and reveals the surprising ways Greek helped form English. Filled with Norris's memorable encounters with Greek words, Greek gods, Greek wine-and more than a few Greek waiters-Greek to Me is the Comma Queen's fresh take on Greece and the exotic yet strangely familiar language that so deeply influences our own.

Interviewer: Elizabeth Horner

Elizabeth Hornor is the Ingram Director of Education at Emory’s Michael C. Carlos Museum where, among other things, she works to bring writers, artists, and thinkers for whom the ancient world has special resonance to the Carlos for the benefit of Emory University and the metropolitan Atlanta area.

  • Decatur Presbyterian Sanctuary presented by Emory University
  • Sat 1:45-2:30p Presbyterian

Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen

The author’s experiences traveling in Greece are interwoven with her drive to learn modern Greek and study the classics. She traces the history of the alphabet, island hops, researches Homeric epithets, skinny-dips in the waters of Cyprus, acts in Greek tragedies (in ancient Greek), follows in the footsteps of her literary philhellenes.

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