Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café is an independent bookstore founded in Asheville, NC in 1982. We bring books, writers, and readers together in an environment that nurtures community and the joy of reading. We carry a carefully curated selection of books for adults, children, and young adults, as well as a large array of gift items. Our cozy café offers tasty treats from local bakeries and coffee roasted locally. Writer Ann Patchett, in an article for the New York Times, said of us: “Malaprop’s was the heart and soul of Asheville, NC, when Asheville was a sleepy little hippie town, and it’s still its heart and soul now…, a position Malaprop’s maintained by being unabashedly true to itself.”
A character in Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s play ‘The Rivals’ (1775), Mrs. Malaprop consistently uses language malapropos, that is, inappropriately. The word malapropos comes from the French phrase mal à propos, made up of mal, “badly,” à, “to,” and propos, “purpose, subject,” and means “inappropriate.” ‘The Rivals’ was a popular play, and Mrs. Malaprop became enshrined as a common noun, first in the form “malaprop” and later as “malapropism,” whose usage was first recorded in 1849. “She’s as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the Nile” and “He is the very pineapple of politeness” are two of the absurd pronouncements from Mrs. Malaprop that explain why her name became synonymous with ludicrous misuse of language.