Ella Minnow Pea is a novel by Mark Dunn. The full title of the hardcover version is Ella Minnow Pea: a progressively lipogrammatic epistolary fable, while . Playwright Dunn tries his hand at fiction in this “progressively lipogrammatic epistolary fable,” and the result is a novel bursting with creativity, neological mischief. 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.

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How do they enhance the plot? And this book is good to boot. The citizenry is officially banned from using any letter which falls off the sign. What methods does the author use to help us distinguish between speakers?

Ella Minnow Pea Reader’s Guide

But, as with most ideas, this turns out to be more theory than fact. Her temperament is rather hot-headed, and she is quick to see the negatives of a situation. They are currently in the development and script writing phase and expect to complete the film in Mqrk story is one of letters, literally, written in letters between various people. An example of the latter is the Council reassuring Mrs. This act leads to lead poisoning from the paint, and she dies from the poisoning.

Ella Minnow Pea is also a very effective allegory of totalitarianism. The once literate population of the island is reduced to an ever shrinking group terrified to speak freely else they use a forbidden letter. Updates below sorted by date newest first: It was one of the most unique and creative stories I’ve ever read.

Why does the rest of the council agree to it? The Islanders became quite creative in both their choice of words and their spelling. Can one read Ella Minnow Pea as a novel that comments on its own structure—the literary equivalent of dhnn Quaker Oats boxes brandished by the Rasmussen family?


A penalty system is enforced for using the forbidden characters, with public censure for a first offense, lashing or stocks violator’s choice upon a second offense and banishment from the island nation upon the third.

His farewell letter to Ella and his wife contains the sentence that eventually frees Xunn from the rules and regulations concerning the use of restricted letters.

I atmire my hantyworg. There were so many words I never heard before so in spite the fact I could catch the context I wanted to know their exact meaning. Though the islanders shun modern technology, elpa take pride in their educated citizenry.

Review: Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

As a result, they ban all future use of the fallen letters. Originally from Memphis, he now lives in Greenwich Village with his wife, Mary. A Progressively Lipogrammatic Epistolary Fable.

What elements of the novel seem comical or lighthearted? View all 16 comments. I had expected to be reading this to fulfill the South Carolina slot in this season’s challenge.

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn – Reading Guide – : Books

Perhaps they will eventually disappear ells, and the accompanying halts and stammers as well: Dunn obviously relishes the challenge of telling a story with a contracting alphabet. We are expected to believe that a culture that was built on reverence for the written word destroys all its libraries overnight because one letter fell off a statue what sort of important statue has letters glued on, rather than carved? Whatever else this guide accomplishes, we hope it preserves that sense of fun. But the island paradise soon degenerates into a totalitarian regime as hellish as anything conceived by George Orwell.


View all 5 comments. This is a fast read that will impress you and leave you thinking long This book blew my mind.

Town and village people are banished after three violations; the councillors now call themselves “The Pentapriests” in respect of the lost letters. Even religious fundamentalism gets a swipe since the Council treat Nollop, the phrase’s creator, as–well–a Creator. With the absence of “C” and “K”, one character writes to another in thanks- appreciation- for the pullet soup, use of synonyms being a matter of survival and saviour of property which is being absconded by the bureaucrats for themselves.

Ella Minnow Pea – Mark Dunn

Update 20 Dec Here’s another random thought on unfettered free-speech. Communication becomes ever-more complicated, transgressions and banishments take a huge toll. Return to Book Page.

It was very predictable, but at the same time, it wasn’t.

They realize that if they speak out for their freedom of speech, they will be punished. She is a strong and intelligent young woman who uses her determination and persistence to survive the hardship placed on the island of Nollop by the high pez. But silly as it is, the way that the citizens of Nollop react to the increasingly harsh rules feels true to life.

It’s fresh, clever, and fun. I was entertained from beginning to end and thought it was fun seeing the creativity when the letters started getting banned. I am so sorree. The first letter gone missing was the Z. What characteristics does it share with other fables?