The dictionary of lost words : a novel / Pip Williams.
- ISBN: 9780593160190
- ISBN: 0593160193
- Physical Description: xiv, 376 pages : map ; 25 cm
- Edition: First U.S. edition.
- Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 
- Copyright: ©2021 [map]
"Originally published in Australia by Affirm Press in 2020." -- title page verso.
|Formatted Contents Note:||
Prologue: February 1886 -- Part 1: 1887-1896. Batten-distrustful -- Part 2: 1897-1901. Lap-nywe -- Part 4: 1907-1913. Polygenus-sorrow -- Part 5: 1914-1915. Speech-sullen -- Part 6: 1928. Wise-wyzen -- Epilogue: Adelaide, 1989.
"The Dictionary of Lost Words is a work of fiction. All incidents and dialogue, and all characters with the exception of some well-known historical figures, are products of the author's imagination and are not to be construed as real. Before the lost word, there was another. It arrived at the Scriptorium in a second-hand envelope, the old address crossed out and Dr Murray, Sunnyside, Oxford, written in its place. It was Da's job to open the post and mine to sit on his lap, like a queen on her throne, and help him ease each word out of its folded cradle. He'd tell me what pile to put it on and sometimes he'd pause, cover my hand with his, and guide my finger up and down and around the letters, sounding them into my ear. He'd say the word, and I would echo it, then he'd tell me what it meant"-- Provided by publisher.
Motherless, Esme spends her childhood in the Scriptorium, a garden shed in Oxford where her father and a team of dedicated lexicographers are collecting words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary. One day a slip of paper containing the word bondmaid flutters beneath the table. She rescues the slip, and is told that the word means "slave girl." Learning that words relating to women's and common folks' experiences often go unrecorded, Esme begins to collect other words discarded by the dictionary men. As she grows up, Esme begins in earnest to search out words for her own dictionary: the Dictionary of Lost Words. -- adapted from jacket
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