The Life of a Dictionary Writer

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“People think of English as this monolithic thing but it’s really not, it’s much more like a river.” Kory Stamper, associate editor at Merriam-Webster and the author of Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries (Pantheon, 2017), explains what it’s like to define English words and why there are those dots in the middle of words in the dictionary.

Momentum and Urgency in Fiction

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“Many stories with real urgency and momentum grow out of a simple request; someone says to someone else, ‘There's something I want you to do.’” Charles Baxter, author of the short story collection There’s Something I Want You to Do (Pantheon, 2015), delivers a lecture on dramatic structure and how to create urgency and momentum in stories for the Word Works series at Hugo House.

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How to Be Both

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Ali Smith reads from her dual-narrative novel involving a British teenager mourning her mother's death and a fifteenth-century Italian painter. The novel, released tomorrow by Pantheon, was a finalist for the 2014 Man Booker Prize. Last month Smith was awarded the Goldsmiths Prize, an award recognizing fiction that breaks the mold.

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Marjane Satrapi

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"When I read Dostoevsky, I understand better the psychology of the human being." Marjane Satrapi, author of the graphic memoir Persepolis (Pantheon, 2004), speaks with Paul Holdengräber at the New York Public Library about how reading Fyodor Dostoevsky's work changed her life.

Chip Kidd's Cover Design for Murakami's 1Q84

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Chip Kidd, the associate art director at Knopf and Pantheon, talks about his cover design for Haruki Murakami's novel 1Q84. Note the Spirograph drawings behind his desk (three of them were featured in Kidd's design of the January/February 2010 cover of Poets & Writers Magazine). And read Ken Gordon's take on the girth of Murakami's huge book and others in the current issue.

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