By Emily Arsenault
The dusty documents of a venerable dictionary writer . . . a hidden cache of coded clues . . . a narrative written by way of a phantom writer . . . an unsolved homicide in a gritty city park–all collide memorably in Emily Arsenault’s very good debut, instantly a teasing literary puzzle, an creative suspense novel, and an exploration of definitions: of phrases, of who we're, and of the tales we decide to outline us.In the maze of booths at Samuelson corporation, editors toil away in silence, learning the English language, poring over new expressions and freshly coined words–all in guidance for the following new version of the Samuelson Dictionary. between them is editorial assistant Billy Webb, simply out of faculty, suffering to stick wakeful and seem useful. yet there are a number of distractions. His interesting coworker Mona Minot might or will not be flirting with him. And he’s beginning to experience whatever suspicious occurring underneath this company’s educational facade.Mona has simply made a startling discovery: a trove of perplexing citations, all taken from an identical booklet, The damaged Teaglass. Billy and Mona quickly research that no such booklet exists. And the quotations from it are a ways too lengthy, twisting, and weird for any dictionary. They learn like a confessional, coyly hinting at a hidden identification, a mystery liaison, a criminal offense. As Billy and Mona ransack the place of work records, a chilling tale starts to emerge: a narrative a couple of lonely younger lady, a long-unsolved secret, a second of shattering violence. And as they piece jointly its fragments, the puzzle starts off to tackle greater own which means for either one of them, compelling them to redefine their notions of themselves and every other.Charged with wit and intelligence, set opposed to a sweetly wary love tale, The damaged Teaglass is a story that may satisfaction fans of phrases, fanatics of mysteries, and fanatics of clever, humorous, brilliantly artistic fiction.
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Additional info for The Broken Teaglass: A Novel
Mr. Needham himself looked a little time-worn, sagging slightly behind his glossy wooden desk. He seemed to be scowling at me, but I tried not to take it personally. Maybe he’d eaten something too spicy for lunch—hence the Tums. A thin layer of gray hair was pulled from one side of his bald head to the other. I wondered if comb-over was in the dictionary yet. His clothes, conversely, were crisp and classy: a black sport coat without a trace of lint or cat hair and a tastefully splashy tie that reminded me vaguely of a Gauguin painting.
Mr. Needham’s office was pretty Spartan. Unlike some of the cubicles I’d seen earlier in the day, his space contained none of the usual comforting reminders of a slightly rosier existence outside of this office—pictures of smiling children, Nerf basketball hoop, dish of toffee candies. Even on Dan’s desk there was at least a framed snapshot of himself holding a large trout, in addition to that sad little cactus. The only sign of nonacademic humanity in Mr. Needham’s office was a shiny new roll of Tums resting on the corner of his blotter.
Nice meeting you, Mr. Phillips,” I said, fleeing the coffee station. ” I didn’t sleep much that night. For the third night in a row, I lay awake past one o’clock. My bedroom’s floral wallpaper made me feel oddly old and infirm. Bean poles and bean sprouts and bean threads snaked around in my head. Some animal—probably a cat—kept making a painful sneezing-crying sound from somewhere behind the house. It would stop occasionally and I’d start to drift off—and then it would begin again. , I dragged a sleeping bag out to my living room and sacked out there instead.
The Broken Teaglass: A Novel by Emily Arsenault