Comfort Lit – Litquake – Dictionary Stories: Short Fictions and Other Findings (Harper Perennial) | Mechanics' Institute

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Comfort Lit – Litquake – Dictionary Stories: Short Fictions and Other Findings (Harper Perennial)
Author Jez Burrows in conversation with lexicographer Jane Solomon

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Litquake announces a new, free lunchtime series at the Mechanic’s Institute. 2017 taught us that taking a break with books is the best form of self-care, so for 2018, we dreamed up Comfort Lit: Books That Make You Feel Better to provide a much-needed break from fighting the powers that be and help us recharge from the grim realities of the day. On Tuesdays throughout the spring and summer, join us at these author appearances, featuring books on humor, food, love, spirituality, travel, animals—things that make us smile and bring down the blood pressure.


Genre-bending and wildly inventive, Dictionary Stories is a giddy celebration of the originality, flexibility, and beauty of narrative. Love stories, horror stories, noir mysteries, recipes, eulogies, confessions, thrillers—each one a miniature literary remix of unlikely parts hidden in plain sight, created by flipping through the dictionary and knowing where to stop. Organized alphabetically by theme and featuring original illustrations by the author, this continually surprising and wonderfully weird collection glows with humor, emotion, and intellect. Dictionary Stories will speak to language lovers, creative minds, and anyone who has ever appreciated the power of small things. 


Jez Burrows is a British designer, illustrator, and writer. After studying graphic design at the University of Brighton, he spent three years designing books, identities, posters, maps, and playing cards; and creating illustrations for clients including The New York Times, Nike, WNYC, MonocleWIRED and Cards Against Humanity, before a 5-year stint as a designer at Facebook. He lives in the Bay Area, and enjoys long moonlit walks through the dictionary.

Jane Solomon is a lexicographer based in Oakland, CA. She spends her days writing definitions and working on various projects for In the past, she’s worked with other dictionary publishers including Cambridge, HarperCollins, Oxford, and Scholastic. Jane is a coauthor of “Among the New Words,” a quarterly article in the journal American Speech. She is also part of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee, the group that votes on what new emoji pop up on our devices. In her free time, Jane enjoys researching emerging slang and emoji and writing about it on her blog Lexical Items.

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