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In 'Southern Lady Code,' Helen Ellis Brings Her Hilarity To Southern Manners

Amid disquisitions on the importance of thank-you notes and a hilariously graphic description of a mammogram, Ellis occasionally ventures into more weighty territory in her first work of non-fiction.
Southern Lady Code, by Helen Ellis Source: Doubleday

Helen Ellis is a hoot. That's Northern Critic Code for Don't expect serious essays on pressing topics, but prepare yourself for some off-the-wall hilarity.

Southern Lady Code is Ellis's followup to American Housewife, her 2016 short-story collection, which unleashed a riotous, twisted take on domesticity. This first book of nonfiction expands her riff on Southern manners and the "technique by which, if you don't have something nice to say, you say something not-so-nice in a nice way."

A few examples: "An 'archivist' is Southern Lady Code for"'If it happens, it happens' is Southern Lady Code for (a choice made by Ellis and her husband); "'Early-developed' is Southern Lady Code for

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