Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

“Love one another, push the perimeter of this glorious language. Lastly, please show proper courtesy; open not your neighbor’s mail.”

– Mark Dunn

Dunn’s epistilary novel plays with and celebrates language while exposing the dysfunctions of blind power and arbitrary rules. This is one of the most delightful novels I have had the privelege of devouring.

Epistilaries are a unique and ancient style of novel that plays with character, language, and culture. The darling pen pals in this novel cleverly refuse to be silenced by the violent oppression of severing letters from their language. Dunn’s novel taught me to appreciate the letter v, for, without it, we could never say, “I love you.”

One of my favorite things to do is write letters to people I love. Ella Minnow Pea (get it? LMNOP?) brought back the urgency and importance of letter writing to my heart. And, to our delight, Uncle Sam wrote us in return the most thrilling letter to read!