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Town Hall Seattle: Arts & Culture Series

Town Hall’s Arts & Culture series elevates the voices of local artists while bringing world-renowned cultural icons to Seattle audiences. The series celebrates music, photography, sculpture, philosophy, heritage, and traditions around the world that enrich our lives.

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May 7, 2019

Few of us are aware of the extent to which the Greek language has influenced English. Fortunately, lauded New Yorker writer Mary Norris has a passion for all things Greek. She joined us to share excerpts from her book Greek to Me, drawing on a lifelong love affair with words and her solo adventures in the land of olive trees and ouzo. In conversation with Town Hall’s own Curator of Lectures, Edward Wolcher, Norris explained how the alphabet originated in Greece, makes the case for Athena as a feminist icon, recounts her search for the fabled Baths of Aphrodite, and revealed the surprising ways Greek helped form English. Join Norris for a linguaphile’s fresh take on Greece—and on the exotic yet strangely familiar language that so deeply influences our own.

Mary Norris (aka the Comma Queen) is the author of Greek to Me and the New York Times bestsellerBetween You & Me, an account of her years in The New Yorker copy department, where she has been a contributor since 1978.

Recorded live at Town Hall Seattle on May 1, 2019.