As a writer, I found this little tidbit very interesting. You might think a non-E-book is a print book, but those aren’t true non-E-books. As far as I know, there was only one true non-E-book. Ernest Vincent Wright wrote Gadsby in 1937.

So why is it the only true non-E-book?

Because in this 50,110-word novel, you won’t find a single word containing the letter E. For instance, here’s the first sentence: “If Youth, throughout all history, had had a champion to stand up for it; to show a doubting world that a child can think; and, possibly, do it practically; you would constantly run across folks today who claim that ‘a child don’t know anything.’”

Just try writing a 44-word yourself without using a word that contains the letter E. You probably can’t write in the past tense since most of the words end with –ed. You can’t use the popular article “the” or pronouns.

Wright supposedly wrote the book as a personal challenge after he read a four-stanza poem that didn’t contain the letter E. He tied down the E key on his typewriter so that it couldn’t be used and immersed himself in his writing for the next 165 days.

Wright never got to talk about his reasons for writing the book or see how the public received it. He died at age 66 on the day Gadsby was published.

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