Sunday, April 08, 2007
Ella Minnow Pea
Dunn, Mark. 2001. Ella Minnow Pea.
Ella Minnow Pea isn’t a new book, but it is a new-to-me book. Set on a fictional island of Nollop off the coast of South Carolina, it follows the lives of a family enduring stress and hardship as their ‘perfect’ society begins to collapse. This society is based on worshipping Nevin Nollop who invented the famous lipogram “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” When the letters start falling from the statue or monument, the Council decides that it is a message from beyond-the-grave. The message is clear: each fallen letter must be discarded from use. No words with the fallen letters must ever be used. This eliminates most (if not all) books from the library, and renders teachers practically useless. The punishment is severe and a three strikes you’re out policy is instituted. Can these islanders find a way to save their society? It’s a race against time as each letter falls from place.
Reading Group Guide
Interview with Mark Dunn