L is for Letters

There are those who complain that technology is having a detrimental effect on letter writing (I’m one of them). After all, speaking in abbreviations and emoticons is not the same as receiving a heartfelt, handwritten letter from a loved one. While I love technology as much as the next person – and I’m not saying I don’t text or email, mind you – I think that we’re losing a beautiful thing here.

But, thankfully, the letter lives on in literature. A number of rather good books are set in an epistolary format (consisting in letters). Reading one of the novels listed below might even make you yearn to put pen to paper – at least until your hand starts to ache…

Starred entries are highly recommended (by me).


84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (nonfiction)*

The Color Purple by Alice Walker*

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn*

Emily Hudson by Melissa Jones

From A to X: A Story in Letters by John Berger

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson*

Griffin and Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence by Nick Bantock (1st in a series)*

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

Homeland  by Barbara Hambly

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

Letter to My Daughter: A Novel by George Bishop

The Letters by Luanne Rice

Letters from Yellowstone by Diane  Smith

Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore

The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship by Andrea Israel

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

Which Brings Me to You: A Novel in Confessions by Steve Almond and Julianna Baggott

White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson by Brenda Wineapple (nonfiction)

A Woman of Independent Means by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey

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