As we bring this year’s Write_On Campaign to a close, we find ourselves wondering: how will we keep our letter-writing practice going? Luckily, these wonderful books are here to inspire your letter-writing all year long:
Dear Mr. You, by Mary Louise Parker
Actress Mary Louise Parker’s debut literary work traces the arc of her life through letters written to the men who have influenced it, both real--such as her father--and imagined. Beautifully written and lovingly crafted, the book reveals just how meandering, carefully observed, and creative a letter can be. You’ll find additional inspiration in her warm and engaging interview with Inflection Point Radio’s Lauren Schiller.
I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives, by Martin Ganda and Caitlin Alifirenka
In this true story, a middle class American girl becomes pen pals and, eventually, best friends with a boy from a Zimbabwe slum thanks to a class writing assignment. A dual memoir alternating between their perspectives, it shows how the simple act of writing a letter can lead to mutual understanding and transformation.
TED speaker Hannah Brencher’s memoir describes how, fresh out of college and depressed, she began writing love letters to strangers and leaving them in bathroom stalls, doctor’s office, and all over New York City. 400 letters later, she had discovered a deeper sense of purpose and revealed how a letter can be the ultimate random act of kindness. Hannah’s campaign The World Needs More Love Letters, mobilizes people worldwide to write love letters to those in need.
Mr. Jameson and Mr. Phillips by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
Though out of print, this charming children’s book tells the story of two friends -- a writer and an artist -- who seek to get away from the crowds and realize that they’ve each found true happiness when they’ve made enough creative space to send each other a Christmas card. A prescient and timely reminder for kids today on the value of unplugging and the true meaning of friendship.