A delightful investigation of the art of letter writing, Yours Ever explores masterpieces dispatched through the ages by messenger, postal service, and BlackBerry.
Here are Madame de Sévigné’s devastatingly sharp reports from the French court, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tormented advice to his young daughter, the casually brilliant musings of Flannery O’Connor, the lustful boastings of Lord Byron, and the prison cries of Sacco and Vanzetti, all accompanied by Thomas Mallon’s own insightful commentary. From battlefield confessions to suicide notes, fan letters to hate mail, Yours Ever is an exuberant reintroduction to a vast and entertaining literature—a book that will help to revive, in the digital age, this glorious lost art.
Funny Letters from Famous People
In this humorous collection of celebrity wit, acclaimed broadcaster and humorist Charles Osgood offers witticisms penned by luminaries ranging from Abraham Lincoln to Andy Rooney.
Known for his clever commentary and witty radio-show rhymes, Charles Osgood here selects and introduces a collection of hilarious correspondence from some of our best-loved politicians, authors, and stars of the stage and screen. Funny Letters from Famous People delivers rib-tickling communications from the likes of Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Flannery O’Connor, S. J. Perelman, Groucho Marx, Bob Hope, John Cheever and dozens more.
Providing an entertaining look at celebrated lives, Osgood lets us glimpse Mark Twain squabbling with the gas company, Dwight D. Eisenhower kvetching to Mamie about Patton, and radio personality Fred Allen desperately seeking logic from his insurance carrier in one of comedy’s most amusing epistles.
Sprinkled throughout with Osgood’s own humorous quips, Funny Letters from Famous People is a delightful compendium of clever letter writing at its side-splitting best.
Jane Austen's letters afford a unique insight into the daily life of the novelist: intimate and gossipy, observant and informative, they bring alive her family and friends, her surroundings and contemporary events with a freshness unparalleled in modern biographies. We recognize the unmistakable voice of the author of Pride and Prejudice, witty and amusing as she describes the social life of town and country, thoughtful and constructive when writing about the business of literary composition.
A Secret Gift
Shortly before Christmas 1933 in Depression-scarred Canton, Ohio, a small newspaper ad offered $10, no strings attached, to 75 families in distress. Interested readers were asked to submit letters describing their hardships to a benefactor calling himself Mr. B. Virdot. The author's grandfather Sam Stone was inspired to place this ad and assist his fellow Cantonians as they prepared for the cruelest Christmas most of them would ever witness.
Moved by the tales of suffering and expressions of hope contained in the letters, which he discovered in a suitcase 75 years later, Ted Gup initially set out to unveil the lives behind them, searching for records and relatives all over the country who could help him flesh out the family sagas hinted at in those letters. From these sources, Gup has re-created the impact that Mr B. Virdot's gift had on each family. Many people yearned for bread, coal, or other necessities, but many others received money from B. Virdot for more fanciful items-a toy horse, say, or a set of encyclopedias. As Gup's investigations revealed, all these things had the power to turn people's lives around- even to save them.
But as he uncovered the suffering and triumphs of dozens of strangers, Gup also learned that Sam Stone was far more complex than the lovable- retiree persona he'd always shown his grandson. Gup unearths deeply buried details about Sam's life-from his impoverished, abusive upbringing to felonious efforts to hide his immigrant origins from U.S. officials-that help explain why he felt such a strong affinity to strangers in need. Drawing on his unique find and his award-winning reportorial gifts, Ted Gup solves a singular family mystery even while he pulls away the veil of eight decades that separate us from the hardships that united America during the Depression. In A Secret Gift, he weaves these revelations seamlessly into a tapestry of Depression-era America, which will fascinate and inspire in equal measure.
Marilyn Monroe’s image is so universal that we can’t help but believe that we know all there is to know of her. Every word and gesture made headlines and garnered controversy. Her serious gifts as an actor were sometimes eclipsed by her notoriety—and the way the camera fell helplessly in love with her.
But what of the other Marilyn? Beyond the headlines—and the too-familiar stories of heartbreak and desolation—was a woman far more curious, searching, and hopeful than the one the world got to know. Even as Hollywood studios tried to mold and suppress her, Marilyn never lost her insight, her passion, and her humor. To confront the mounting difficulties of her life, she wrote.
Now, for the first time, we can meet this private Marilyn and get to know her in a way we never have before. Fragments is an unprecedented collection of written artifacts—notes to herself, letters, even poems—in Marilyn’s own handwriting, never before published, along with rarely seen intimate photos.
These bits of text—jotted in notebooks, typed on paper, or written on hotel letterhead—reveal a woman who loved deeply and strove to perfect her craft. They show a Marilyn Monroe unsparing in her analysis of her own life, but also playful, funny, and impossibly charming. The easy grace and deceptive lightness that made her performances so memorable emerge on the page, as does the simmering tragedy that made her last appearances so heartbreaking.
Fragments is an event—an unforgettable book that will redefine one of the greatest stars of the twentieth century and which, nearly fifty years after her death, will definitively reveal Marilyn Monroe’s humanity.Daniel Patrick Moynihan
When Daniel Patrick Moynihan died in 2003 the Economist described him as “a philosopher-politician-diplomat who two centuries earlier would not have been out of place among the Founding Fathers.” Though Moynihan never wrote an autobiography, he was a gifted author and voluminous correspondent, and in this selection from his letters Steven Weisman has compiled a vivid portrait of Moynihan’s life, in the senator’s own words.
Before his four terms as Senator from New York, Moynihan served in key positions under Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford. His letters offer an extraordinary window into particular moments in history, from his feelings of loss at JFK’s assassination, to his passionate pleas to Nixon not to make Vietnam a Nixon war, to his frustrations over healthcare and welfare reform during the Clinton era.
This book showcases the unbridled range of Moynihan’s intellect and interests, his appreciation for his constituents, his renowned wit, and his warmth even for those with whom he profoundly disagreed. Its publication is a significant literary event.
Saul Bellow was a dedicated correspondent until a couple of years before his death, and his letters, spanning eight decades, show us a twentieth-century life in all its richness and complexity. Friends, lovers, wives, colleagues, and fans all cross these pages. Some of the finest letters are to Bellow's fellow writers-William Faulkner, John Cheever, Philip Roth, Martin Amis, Ralph Ellison, Cynthia Ozick, and Wright Morris. Intimate, ironical, richly observant, and funny, these letters reveal the influcences at work in the man, and illuminate his enduring legacy-the novels that earned him a Nobel Prize and the admiration of the world over. Saul Bellow: Letters is a major literary event and an important edition to Bellow's incomparable body of work.Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters