Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Ever wondered about all those commas or strange word breaks in the venerable New Yorker? Longtime copy editor Mary Norris offers readers a delicious hybrid of a book--part memoir and part grammar guide. Hers was not a direct path to the copy desk, where she's spent the last 30 years. Her first job was inspecting feet at her community swimming pool. With a large helping of practicality, Norris goes into the nuances of grammar and punctuation, whichworked perfectly for me. I am a grammar book geek. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and recommend it to anyone who likes a quirky memoir or a nerdy grammar book. Or both.

— Wendee

April 2015 Indie Next List

“I was feeling pretty smug about my word skills until I learned something right there on page 26 of Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen. I have been mispronouncing 'elegiac.' Even so, I didn't begrudge Norris for taking me on a delightful tour of the offices of The New Yorker, the history of Noah Webster and his dictionary descendents, the city of Cleveland, and the hyphen in Moby-Dick. Between You and Me is a sprightly -- not 'spritely,' thank you -- gambol in the fields of grammar, and I enjoyed every step.”
— David Enyeart, Common Good Books, St. Paul, MN


Mary Norris has spent more than three decades working in The New Yorker's renowned copy department, helping to maintain its celebrated high standards. In Between You & Me, she brings her vast experience with grammar and usage, her good cheer and irreverence, and her finely sharpened pencils to help the rest of us in a boisterous language book as full of life as it is of practical advice.

Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Amazon, Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Library Journal.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393352146
ISBN-10: 0393352145
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: April 4th, 2016
Pages: 240
Language: English