A Copy Editor Reads Between the Lines

May 6, 2015

While some might have dreams of breaking earth-shaking news at a magazine like The New Yorker, Mary Norris’s aspirations were different.

Norris initially wanted to be a writer at the iconic literary news and culture magazine, but her first job there was in the archives. It was from there that she saw her dream job across the office on the copy desk, a place where she has remained ever since.

Norris has been with The New Yorker since 1978, the last 22 years as a query proofreader.

But now she is published author with a new book about her specialty, called Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen.

Speaking in front of an audience at Boswell Book Company, Norris explained she cut her teeth in the little-appreciated department called “collating:"