Letters to Dead Authors


March 2016 – I am pleased to a announce a new series in which today’s writers compose Letters – homages, lamentations, arguments, thank-yous, etc. – to Dead Authors.

The series is inspired by Andrew Lang’s 1866 book that I found in my campus library, and is in celebration of my forthcoming book that includes a series of postcards to a dead author: The Bitter Life of Božena Němcová is now available from Rose Metal Press.

To submit a Letter to a Dead Author, or a pitch for a letter, please use the contact bar on the right of the blog (scroll down) (and then scroll down some more).



3/26/16 Michael Martone to Edith Hamilton
4/3/16 Molly McCaffrey to Nora Ephron
4/10/16 Margaret Luongo to Larry Brown
4/17/16 Michael Griffith to Eudora Welty
4/23/16 Jac Jemc to Ellen Raskin
5/15/16 Martin Seay to James Clavell
5/30/16 Anthony Michael Morena to Gustave Flaubert
6/26/16 David Bell to Rosemary Sutcliff
8/21/16 Lee Upton to Muriel Spark
9/18/16 Kathleen Rooney to René Magritte
11/6/16 John Carr Walker to William Saroyan

In this 1866 letter to the already dead W. M. Thackeray, Andrew Lang writes of all the things that stand in the way of writing to living authors – such as being accused of being a “parasite” or of “vex[ing] a rival”- and makes the case for the freedom he feels in writing letters to dead authors: