There is a story behind each letter of the alphabet. Why is X the Unknown or shorthand for a kiss? Which letter came last, historically, in the alphabet? (J). How did a few squiggles, invented a thousand years ago to denote sounds of a now vanished Semitic language, survive to become our letters today? While China and Japan rely mainly on scripts of ideograms, three-quarters of humanity uses some kind of alphabet. Chinese writing requires 2000 basic symbols (but there's no language barrier), where an alphabet needs typically less than 30. From A-Z, David Sacks provides answers to the most fascinating questions about the way we talk, write and think in a book which will also be illustrated graphically throughout - not just with variations of individual letters but with maps, charts and general narrative images.
Sacks is a freelance writer for New York Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Harper's Bazaar, Elle etc. He now lives in Canada with his wife and two children. He is 51.