Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
Published September 1st 2016
by Penguin Life
Ella Minnow Pea is a girl living happily on the fictional island of Nollop off the coast of South Carolina. Nollop was named after Nevin Nollop, author of the immortal pangram,* “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Now Ella finds herself acting to save her friends, family, and fellow citizens from the encroaching totalitarianism of the island’s Council, which has banned the use of certain letters of the alphabet as they fall from a memorial statue of Nevin Nollop. As the letters progressively drop from the statue they also disappear from the novel. The result is both a hilarious and moving story of one girl’s fight for freedom of expression, as well as a linguistic tour de force sure to delight word lovers everywhere.
*pangram: a sentence or phrase that includes all the letters of the alphabet
Though the cover looks classy and it does represent the book but I find it way too minimal.
Ella minnow pea lives with her parents on a fictional island named Nollop. Nollop was discovered by Nevil Nollop who made the pangram “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog”. Nallopians were leading normal life till 100 years but then the tile of the letter ‘Z’ fell down. The high council gathers and in the closed room, they interpret that the great Nollop doesn’t want the people of this island to use this letter and they banished this letter from using anywhere. Books, prints, radio shows, or even in normal conversations. They even made various levels of punishments.
One by one as letters started to fall down, problems start to increase and the lives of common people became tragic. Simple conversations became the scariest thing to do and they started to leave the country. One simple, elementary thing, falling a tile of a letter and misinterpretation by superstition created chaos.
This short and quick novel is a perfect example of how political powers can dictate freedom of speech and how common people suffer, how they rebel. The fantastic thing about this novel is as the letters fall, author, Mark Dunn also stops using them in the novel and because of that, it became difficult for me to read the last few chapters but again the book is marvelously, delightfully crafted.
Yet in my heart of hearts, I must confess: I simply cannot stop myself from the inevitable “what if”!-Tassie// Ella minnow pea
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Tell me something…
- what will you name Monday if you can’t use ‘D’ in it? Be creative and let me know in the comment section