LITERATURE

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Celebrating the Joys of Letter Writing

S. & S. Apr. 2014. 192p. ISBN 9781451687156. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781451687170. memoir
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The discovery of a cache of old letters in her home led Sankovitch (Tolstoy and the Purple Chair) to examine the history and practice of letter writing and question why letters are such a powerful form of communication. From Heloise and Abelard's impassioned missives to love letters from her husband, the author deconstructs a wide variety of correspondence in her effort to determine the basis of our fascination with letters (especially the ones not addressed to us). At once a history as well as an homage to a dwindling practice, the memoirist's review of the art of letter writing is a unique blend of personal and public history.
VERDICT Sankovitch's enthusiasm for all things epistolary is clear as she makes the case for their importance. It's hard to imagine future generations becoming as excited over discovering emails and texts as she was over the revelation of century-old letters.
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