Dennis Duncan

Writer - Non-fiction

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Dennis Duncan is the Munby Fellow in Bibliography at the University of Cambridge, where he is writing a history of the book index from the middle ages to the era of the Kindle. His publications include Tom McCarthy: Critical Essays (2016) and Theory of The Great Game (2015), a selection of translations from the Surrealist magazine, Le Grand Jeu. He writes regularly for the TLS and is a member of the London Institute of 'Pataphysics.

His first book, INDEX, A HISTORY OF THE, is published in the UK by Penguin Press; in the US, by W. W. Norton; in Italy, by UTET; and in Germany by Verlag Antje Kunstmann.

Praise for INDEX, A HISTORY OF THE (2021)

'Entrancing … Seldom is a short book so wide-ranging or so original in its subject. It is probably the only book ever published with a title ending with the word 'the'.  Every page has things I didn't know, or hardly realised I knew from a lifetime of looking things up. I want to stop people at random and tell them new facts I've found out. Master the use of the index and you have access to all knowledge.' Christopher de Hamel

'Dennis Duncan has done a great service to all bibliophiles by writing this scholarly, witty and affectionate history. By rights “Books, love of” ought to have a page-long entry in the index.' Lynne Truss

'What a surprise to discover that the plain and humble index has such an intricate and rollicking history! Dennis Duncan gives us a learned grand tour from ancient times to the almost present in the design and uses—and cunning abuses—of what is still the most sophisticated search tool ever devised. Instruction, passim! Entertainment, idem!' David Bellos