A dictionary may seem like an objective resource. But these books are created by humans (in the old days, only men), and therefore subject to their whims and biases. Our latest Instaread is a novel that explores how the words we use shape the world around us — and our experiences in it.
Esme Nicoll’s father is a lexicographer who works for the Oxford English Dictionary. She’s fascinated by the Scriptorium, a shed filled with slips of paper containing every word in the English language. Finding that some words have been excluded from the dictionary, Esme begins a collection of “lost words.” To build her stash, she has to go out in the world. You won’t believe what happens next.