Virtual Event: Adrienne Raphel

presenting

Thinking Inside the Box:
Adventures with Crosswords and the Puzzling People Who Can't Live Without Them

in conversation with EVAN JAMES

Date

Apr
1
Thursday
April 1, 2021
7:00 PM ET

Location

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.

Tickets

Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes prize-winning writer and poet ADRIENNE RAPHEL for the paperback release of her acclaimed book Thinking Inside the Box: Adventures with Crosswords and the Puzzling People Who Can't Live Without Them. She will be joined in conversation by novelist and essayist EVAN JAMES, author of Cheer Up, Mr. Widdicombe and I've Been Wrong Before.

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About Thinking Outside the Box

Almost as soon as it appeared, the crossword puzzle became indispensable to our lives. Invented practically by accident in 1913, when a newspaper editor at the New York World was casting around for something to fill empty column space, it became a roaring commercial success almost overnight. Ever since then, the humble puzzle has been an essential ingredient of any newspaper worth its salt. But why, exactly, are the crossword’s satisfactions so sweet?

Blending first-person reporting from the world of crosswords with a delightful telling of its rich literary history, Adrienne Raphel dives into the secrets of this classic pastime. Thinking Inside the Box is an ingenious love letter not just to the abiding power of the crossword but to the infinite joys and playful possibilities of language itself.

Praise for Thinking Outside the Box

“For crossword puzzlers of every ilk, from solvers of the Monday-edition no-brainer to pencil-chewing addicts of the cryptic, Thinking Inside The Box is a gold mine of revelations. If there is a pantheon of cruciverbalist scholars, Adrienne Raphel has established herself squarely within it.” —Mary Norris, bestselling author of Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen and Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen

Thinking Inside the Box is a witty, wise, and wonderfully weird journey that will change the way you think. Raphel is an insatiably curious and infectiously passionate guide who plunges headfirst into the rich world of puzzles and the people who love them to reveal the fascinating acrobatics of language and the inner life of words. This book is a delight.” —Bianca Bosker, bestselling author of Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste

“If you remember precisely where you were when you first encountered the words ETUI and ONER, I suspect you’ll be enchanted by Adrienne Raphel’s Thinking Inside the Box. This delightfully engrossing, charmingly and enthusiastically well-written history of the crossword puzzle tells you everything you need to know, and any number of things you couldn’t have imagined, about the invention and eventual world domination of the thing that daily scratches a particular human itch: ‘the yearning to solve a riddle, the desire to fill in a blank space, the obsession with perfection.’” —Benjamin Dreyer, bestselling author of Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style

Adrienne Raphel
Adrienne Raphel

Adrienne Raphel

Adrienne Raphel has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Slate, and Poetry, among other publications. Her debut poetry collection, What Was It For, won the Rescue Press Black Box Poetry Prize. Born in southern New Jersey and raised in northern Vermont, she holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a PhD from Harvard.

Photo credit: Nina Subin

Evan James
Evan James

Evan James

Evan James is the author of I've Been Wrong Before: Essays, and Cheer Up, Mr. Widdicombe: A Novel. He lives in New York.

Photo Credit: Beowulf Sheehan

 

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" and "2021 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

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