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Tales From Webster's

The Verminous Resuscitator and The Monsignor in the Zoot Suit

Livingston Press


In order to tell these unique tales in a truly singular way, Shea, former editor of Penn Medicine and former associate editor at the Gazette, has created his own literary form. Taking a series of consecutive entries from Webster’s New World Dictionary—such as Hieronymus to highborn and weapon to weather—he brings them to life with the connective tissue of his narrative. Each chapter consists of at least five key words, and the linking text is no more than 50 words. “In a universe that seems capricious, void of meaning, and cold,” Shea explains, “there live strands of significance, if we can but detect and tease them out.”