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Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker

Dear Mr. You (2015)

by Mary-Louise Parker

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2151954,204 (3.52)16



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I put this book on my short stories shelf, because that's the only way I can make sense of it -- to see each letter as a short story. Parker seems to be writing actual letters to people -- the kind where you don't have to fill in details because the reader already knows them. Sometimes this worked and felt like a cool, innovative short story, and other times I was completely lost and/or disinterested. If this story angle was fulfilled a bit more, it could have really worked.
I've liked her as an actress since Fried Green Tomatoes, and always thought she has a witty, dry sense of humour. That must be my imagination based on her The West Wing character, because that humour is completely absent from the book. Give it a pass unless you, as a fan, REALLY love her work and need to consume it all. ( )
  LDVoorberg | Dec 3, 2017 |
An absolutely delightful read! In this autobiography, the delightfully intelligent and quirky traits which make Ms. Parker so enchanting on screen come shining through. In a series of letters to men in her life the author manages to convey the intensely wonderful and intensely distasteful roles that men play. I laughed, I cringed, and I cried. ( )
  hemlokgang | Sep 1, 2017 |
You know how those actor-turned-writer books are so annoying (Lena Dunham, James Franco, etc . . .)? Well "Dear Mr. You" eradicates all my annoyances. Mary-Louise Parker is a good actress and a GREAT writer, and this book is inspired, insightful, sharp, touching and very well-written. ( )
  dcmr | Jul 4, 2017 |
This is a unique memoir, often beautifully written and expressed. Some of the chapters brought me to tears, especially the letter to the oyster picker whose hard work made her father's last meal possible. She demonstrates a sensitivity and awareness of just how privileged she is and shows a keen sensitivity to others.

But other stories were written in a stream-of-consciousness style I found strange, difficult to understand, and/or in the category of TMI. They were brutally honest and no doubt cathartic for the author to write but not something I want to read. As a parent, I couldn't help but think of her children reading some of them when they get older.

I appreciate the beauty of the writing and the vulnerability she shares with her readers, but ultimately, this just wasn't my cup of tea. ( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
Maybe the second half of the letters were better than the first but I gave up half way through...something I rarely do. I just could not connect with any of what I read nor did I enjoy the fragmented form. ( )
  Trudial | Jan 27, 2017 |
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"A wonderfully unconventional literary debut from the award-winning actress Mary-Louise Parker. An extraordinary literary work, Dear Mr. You renders the singular arc of a woman's life through letters Mary-Louise Parker composes to the men, real and hypothetical, who have informed the person she is today. Beginning with the grandfather she never knew, the letters range from a missive to the beloved priest from her childhood to remembrances of former lovers to an homage to a firefighter she encountered to a heartfelt communication with the uncle of the infant daughter she adopted. Readers will be amazed by the depth and style of these letters, which reveal the complexity and power to be found in relationships both loving and fraught"--… (more)

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