The Liar's Dictionary (UK Edition)

December 1, 2020
The Liar's Dictionary (UK Edition)

'Made me almost tearful with gratitude that a book asclever as this could give such uncomplicated pleasure ...And when you find a book like this, you grab it, and youhold it close.' JOHN SELF'A delight ... As funny and vivid asDickens, as moving and memorable as Nabokov ... An extraordinarilylarge-hearted work.' THE CRITICmountweazel, noun: a fake entrydeliberately inserted into a dictionary or work of reference. Oftenused as a safeguard against copyrightinfringement.In the final year of the nineteenth century,Peter Winceworth has reached the letter 'S', toiling away for themuch-anticipated and multi-volume Swansby's New EncyclopaedicDictionary. Overwhelmed at his desk and increasingly uneasythat his colleagues are attempting to corral language and regimentfacts, Winceworth feels compelled to assert some sense ofindividual purpose and exercise artistic freedom, and beginsinserting unauthorised, fictitious entries into the dictionary.In the present day, young intern Mallory istasked with uncovering these mountweazels as the text of thedictionary is digitised for modern readers. Through the words andtheir definitions she finds she has access to their creator'smotivations, hopes and desires. More pressingly, she must alsofield daily threatening anonymous phone calls. Is a suggestedchange to the dictionary's definition of marriage (n.)really that controversial? What power does Mallory have when itcomes to words and knowing how to tell the truth? And does thecaller really intend for the Swansby's staff to 'burn in hell'?As their two narratives combine, Winceworth and Mallory mustdiscover how to negotiate the complexities of an often nonsensical,untrustworthy, hoax-strewn and undefinable life.The Liar's Dictionary explores themes of trust andcreativity, naming the unnameable, and celebrates the rigidity,fragility and absurdity of language. It is an exhilarating debutnovel from a formidably brilliant young writer.'Eley Williams's debut novel, The Liar's Dictionary, isa lexicographical delight.' OBSERVER'Deft and clever, refreshing and rewarding ...An assured and satisfying writer, her language rich andintricate and her characters rounded enough to be sympathetic andlampoonist enough to be terribly funny.' LITERARYREVIEW'[The] most exciting of young British writers... Williams luxuriates in words and wordplay, indefinition and precision and invention ...The Liar'sDictionary is a public joy, and Eley Williams afree-spirited literary kook with bags of potential.'BIG ISSUE'A singular, hilarious, word-drunk novel, whichI suspect will be seen in the future as a classiccomic novel.' DAVID HAYDEN, IRISH TIMES'The Liar's Dictionary is the book I waslonging for ... Positively intoxicated with thejoy and wonder of language ... Eley Williams brings erudition andplayfulness - and lovely sweetness - to every page.'BENJAMIN DREYER, New York Times bestselling author ofDREYER'S ENGLISH'This tale of lexical intrigues is an absolute joy toread! It's gloriously inventive andplayful, but with just the right amount of heart.' LUCYSCHOLES