American Letters and Correspondence
Letters to a Fiction Writer
Letters to a Fiction Writer
Paperback      ISBN: 0393320618

Contributors include Lee K. Abbott, Charles Baxter, Ray Bradbury, Raymond Carver, Shelby Foote, John Gardner, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike, Tobias Wolff, and Flannery O'Connor, among others.

Letters to Jackie: Condolences from a Grieving Nation
Letters to Jackie
Condolences from a Grieving Nation
Paperback      ISBN: 0061969826

"A terrific, original, and important work....Fitzpatrick provides a stunningly fresh look at the impact of JFK's assassination on the American people."
--Doris Kearns Goodwin

For Letters to Jackie, noted historian and News Hour with Jim Lehrer commentator Ellen Fitzpatrick combed through literally thousands of condolence messages sent by ordinary Americans to Jacqueline Kennedy following the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy, in 1963. The first book ever to examine this extraordinary collection, Letters to Jackie presents 250 intimate, heartfelt, eye-opening responses to what was arguably the most devastating event in twentieth century America, providing a fascinating perspective on a singular time in the history of our nation.

--Doris Kearns Goodwin
Letters to Kurt
Letters to Kurt
Hardcover      ISBN: 1617750832

"Nearly two decades after the death of Kurt Cobain, a friend and fellow musician not only continues to mourn his suicide, but also rages against the culture that he holds responsible. These 52 'letters' . . . combine the subject matter of the Byrds' 'So You Wanna Be a Rock and Roll Star' with the fury of Allen Ginsberg's Howl . . . A catharsis for the writer and perhaps for the reader as well."
--Kirkus Reviews

"A touching and enlightening collection of prose poems addressed to Erlandson's] departed friend."
--The San Francisco Bay Guardian

"Erlandson finally comes to terms with his loss in 52 prose-poem letters ostensibly addressed to Cobain in which he straightforwardly confronts his inner demons while offering personal reflections on food, drug abuse, death, and self-sabotage."--Booklist

"The reverberations of Kurt's suicide last to this day, and have touched the lives of many. Dozens of people could have written their own version of this bracingly candid book; Eric Erlandson has written one, filled with rage and love, landmined with detail, that can stand for them all."
--Michael Azerrad, author of Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana

"Eric was the spirit-boy in the Nirvana/Hole dynamic. Quiet, bemused, intelligent, and curiously intuitive to the power of hugging the devil, to say we will all be okay . . . Eric expresses how enchanting Kurt was, how the whole scene was, with his thoughtful, radical adult/prose love. Bring on the future, darling."--Thurston Moore, musician

"Eric. He was always there: supportive, observing, in the thick of it. Hidden in plain sight . . . Without him, I can't imagine Seattle or L.A. or a dozen other places. This book is beautiful, brutal, brief. Happy-sad eloquence. Boy Scouts playing with the complimentary cologne in the heart of the ghost town. Listen to the man. He knows."
--Everett True, author of Nirvana: The Biography

Letters to Kurt is an anguished, angry, and tender meditation on the octane and ether of rock and roll and its many moons: sex, drugs, suicide, fame, and rage. It's part Dream Songs, part Bukowski, Ferlinghetti, Ginsberg, and the Clash. Rants, reflections, and gunshot fill these fifty-two prose poems. They are raw, funny, sad, and searching. This will make a beautiful book for anyone who loved Nirvana and Hole and the time and place when their music changed everything. Ultimately, it's an elegy for Kurt and the "suicide idols" who tragically fail to find salvation in their amazing music.
Locked Rooms Open Doors:: Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1933-1935
Locked Rooms Open Doors:
Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1933-1935
Paperback      ISBN: 0156529564

A moving volume that reveals how the Lindberghs increasingly found themselves in the spotlight-a bittersweet record of achievements and hardships. Introduction by the Author; Index; photographs. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book

The Lytle-Tate Letters: The Correspondence of Andrew Lytle and Allen Tate
The Lytle-Tate Letters
The Correspondence of Andrew Lytle and Allen Tate
Paperback      ISBN: 160473552x

The Lytle-Tate Letters: The Correspondence of Andrew Lytle and Allen Tate edited by Thomas Daniel Young and Elizabeth Sarcone This is a remarkable collection of letters covering nearly four decades of correspondence between two of the American South's foremost literary figures. The series begins in 1927 when Tate invited Lytle, who was then a student at the Yale School of Drama, to visit him at his apartment at 27 Bank Street in New York. Although they were acquaintances through their involvement with the Fugitives Movement at Vanderbilt, they had never been close friends because Lytle's association with the group occurred after Tate had left Nashville. But after Lytle's first visit with Tate and his wife Caroline Gordon, both the friendship and the correspondence grew. The letters in this long sequence of exchanges take on a different content and character during each of the decades of the correspondence. The early letters, between 1927 and 1939, show the development of the Lytle-Tate relationship through their common bond-their love for the South. These letters discuss plans for writing their southern biographies, the two Agrarian symposia-I'll Take My Stand (1930) and Who Owns America? (1936)-as well as Lytle's first novel, The Long Night (1936) and Tate's work on his novel, The Fathers. Although the letters of the forties deal with such basic questions as where each man should live and how he should support himself while he writes, their primary focus is first with Lytle's and then with Tate's editorship of The Sewanee Review. The letters of the fifties are by far the most valuable for literary commentary. In these Lytle reads and critiques many of Tate's essays and poems, and Tate, in turn, reads and responds to Lytle's plans for the novel he was to be so long in writing, The Velvet Horn. Although many letters in the final group-those of the sixties-are devoted to a discussion of Tate's guest editing of the special T.S. Eliot issue of The Sewanee Review, these are also the letters which reveal the depth of the Lytle-Tate friendship. In these they share their personal problems and advise each other in the difficulties each is forced to face. Tate gives support to Lytle during the long illness and subsequent loss of his wife Edna and, later, during Lytle's own bout with cancer. Similarly, Lytle sees Tate through his divorce from his second wife and into his next marriage. After a short time, Lytle brings consolation in the loss of one of the Tates' infant twin sons. The correspondence between Tate and Lytle documents the evolution of a long personal and literary friendship between two men who helped shape a large part of modern southern literature. Thomas Daniel Young (deceased) was Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English Emeritus at Vanderbilt University. Elizabeth Sarcone is a professor of English at Delta State University.

Mark Twain's Aquarium: The Samuel Clemens-Angelfish Correspondence, 1905-1910
Mark Twain's Aquarium
The Samuel Clemens-Angelfish Correspondence, 1905-1910
Paperback      ISBN: 0820334987

"What I lacked and what I needed," confessed Samuel Clemens in 1908, "was grandchildren." Near the end of his life, Clemens became the doting friend and correspondent of twelve schoolgirls ranging in age from ten to sixteen. For Clemens, "collecting" these surrogate granddaughters was a way of overcoming his loneliness, a respite from the pessimism, illness, and depression that dominated his later years.

In Mark Twain's Aquarium, John Cooley brings together virtually every known communication exchanged between the writer and the girls he called his "angelfish." Cooley also includes a number of Clemens's notebook entries, autobiographical dictations, short manuscripts, and other relevant materials that further illuminate this fascinating story.

Clemens relished the attention of these girls, orchestrating chaperoned visits to his homes and creating an elaborate set of rules and emblems for the Aquarium Club. He hung their portraits in his billiard room and invented games and plays for their amusement. For much of 1908, he was sending and receiving a letter a week from his angelfish. Cooley argues that Clemens saw cheerfulness and laughter as his only defenses against the despair of his late years. His enchantment with children, years before, had given birth to such characters as Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher, and Huck Finn. In the frivolities of the Aquarium Club, it found its final expression.

Cooley finds no evidence of impropriety in Clemens behavior with the girls. Perhaps his greatest crime, the editor suggests, was in idealizing them, in regarding them as precious collectibles. "He tried to trap them in the amber of endless adolescence," Cooley writes. "By pleading that they stay young and innocent, he was perhaps attempting to deny that, as they and the world continued to change, so must he."
Mark Twain's Aquarium: The Samuel Clemens-Angelfish Correspondence, 1905-1910
Mark Twain's Aquarium
The Samuel Clemens-Angelfish Correspondence, 1905-1910
Hardcover      ISBN: 0820355852

"What I lacked and what I needed," confessed Samuel Clemens in 1908, "was grandchildren." Near the end of his life, Clemens became the doting friend and correspondent of twelve schoolgirls ranging in age from ten to sixteen. For Clemens, "collecting" these surrogate granddaughters was a way of overcoming his loneliness, a respite from the pessimism, illness, and depression that dominated his later years.

In Mark Twain's Aquarium, John Cooley brings together virtually every known communication exchanged between the writer and the girls he called his "angelfish." Cooley also includes a number of Clemens's notebook entries, autobiographical dictations, short manuscripts, and other relevant materials that further illuminate this fascinating story.

Clemens relished the attention of these girls, orchestrating chaperoned visits to his homes and creating an elaborate set of rules and emblems for the Aquarium Club. He hung their portraits in his billiard room and invented games and plays for their amusement. For much of 1908, he was sending and receiving a letter a week from his angelfish. Cooley argues that Clemens saw cheerfulness and laughter as his only defenses against the despair of his late years. His enchantment with children, years before, had given birth to such characters as Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher, and Huck Finn. In the frivolities of the Aquarium Club, it found its final expression.

Cooley finds no evidence of impropriety in Clemens behavior with the girls. Perhaps his greatest crime, the editor suggests, was in idealizing them, in regarding them as precious collectibles. "He tried to trap them in the amber of endless adolescence," Cooley writes. "By pleading that they stay young and innocent, he was perhaps attempting to deny that, as they and the world continued to change, so must he."
Meanwhile There Are Letters: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and Ross MacDonald
Meanwhile There Are Letters
The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and Ross MacDonald
Paperback      ISBN: 1628727535
A 2016 Edgar Award finalist, the "intimate, luminous portrait of a friendship" of two American literary icons (Kirkus, starred review).

In 1970, Ross Macdonald wrote a letter to Eudora Welty, beginning a thirteen-year correspondence between fellow writers and kindred spirits. Though separated by background, geography, genre, and his marriage, the two authors shared their lives in witty, wry, tender, and at times profoundly romantic letters, each drawing on the other for inspiration, comfort, and strength. They brought their literary talents to bear on a wide range of topics, discussing each others' publications, the process of translating life into fiction, the nature of the writer's block each encountered, books they were reading, and friends and colleagues they cherished. They also discussed the world around them, the Vietnam War, the Nixon, Carter, and Reagan presidencies, and the environmental threats facing the nation. The letters reveal the impact each had on the other's work, and they show the personal support Welty provided when Alzheimer's destroyed Macdonald's ability to communicate and write.

The editors of this collection, who are the definitive biographers of these two literary figures, have provided extensive commentary and an introduction. They also include Welty's story fragment "Henry," which addresses Macdonald's disease. With its mixture of correspondence and narrative, Meanwhile There Are Letters provides a singular reading experience: a prose portrait of two remarkable artists and one unforgettable relationship.
Memorable Days: The Selected Letters of James Salter and Robert Phelps
Memorable Days
The Selected Letters of James Salter and Robert Phelps
Hardcover      ISBN: 1582436053

" A] well-edited collection . . . More than friends and less than lovers, Salter and Phelps were literary soul mates." --Publishers Weekly

It was James Salter's third novel, A Sport and a Pastime--together with his film Three and a script he had written for Downhill Racer--that in 1969 prompted Robert Phelps to write a letter of admiration. Though the two writers didn't know each other, their correspondence went on to span decades.

The letters themselves are exceptionally alive, uninhibited, gossipy, touching, and brilliant. The successes of Salter and the struggles of Phelps are fully explored by the writers themselves in the kind of honest exchange only letters can divulge. With an insightful foreword by Michael Dirda, this book gives voice to a nearly forgotten figure and his friendship with a man he admired.

Mockingbird Songs: My Friendship with Harper Lee
Mockingbird Songs
My Friendship with Harper Lee
Hardcover      ISBN: 006266008x

An indelible portrait of one of the most famous and beloved authors in the canon of American literature--a collection of letters between Harper Lee and one of her closest friends that reveals the famously private writer as never before, in her own words.

The violent racism of the American South drove Wayne Flynt away from his home state of Alabama, but the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee's classic novel about courage, community, and equality, inspired him to return in the early 1960s and craft a career documenting and teaching Alabama history. His writing resonated with many Alabamians, in particular three sisters: Louise, Alice, and Nelle Harper Lee. Beginning with their first meeting in 1983, a mutual respect and affection for the state's history and literature matured into a deep friendship between two families who can trace their roots there back more than five generations.

Flynt and Nelle Harper Lee began writing to one other while she was living in New York--heartfelt, insightful, and humorous letters in which they swapped stories, information, and opinions on topics both personal and professional: their families, books, Alabama history and social values, health concerns, and even their fears and accomplishments. Though their earliest missives began formally--Dear Dr. Flynt--as the years passed and their mutual admiration grew, their exchanges became more intimate and emotional, opening with Dear Friend and closing with I love you, Nelle. Through their enduring correspondence, the Lees and the Flynts became completely immersed in each other's lives.

Beautifully written, intelligent, and telling, this remarkable compendium of their letters--a correspondence that lasted for a quarter century, from 1992 until Harper Lee's death in February 2016--offers an incisive and compelling look into the mind, heart, and work of one of the most beloved authors in modern literary history.

--John Grisham