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Four Letter Word: New Love Letters by Joshua…

Four Letter Word: New Love Letters (2007)

by Joshua Knelman (Editor), Joshua Knelman (Editor), Rosalind Porter (Editor & Foreword)

Other authors: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Contributor), Anonymous (Contributor), Margaret Atwood (Contributor), Chris Bachelder (Contributor), Peter Behrens (Contributor)36 more, David Bezmozgis (Contributor), Joseph Boyden (Contributor), Tessa Brown (Contributor), Leonard Cohen (Contributor), Douglas Coupland (Contributor), Geoff Dyer (Contributor), Michel Faber (Contributor), Neil Gaiman (Contributor), Damon Galgut (Contributor), Panos Karnezis (Contributor), A. L. Kennedy (Contributor), Etgar Keret (Contributor), Hari Kunzru (Contributor), Nick Laird (Contributor), Phil LaMarche (Contributor), Ursula K. Le Guin (Contributor), Jonathan Lethem (Contributor), Sam Lipsyte (Contributor), Gautam Malkani (Contributor), Valerie Martin (Contributor), Hisham Mater (Contributor), Jan Morris (Contributor), Audrey Niffenegger (Contributor), Jeff Parker (Contributor), Francine Prose (Contributor), James Robertson (Contributor), Graham Roumieu (Contributor), Mandy Sayer (Contributor), Lionel Shriver (Contributor), Adam Thorpe (Contributor), Miriam Toews (Contributor), Carl-Johan Vallgren (Contributor), M. G. Vassanji (Contributor), Jeanette Winterson (Contributor), Matthew Zapruder (Contributor), Juli Zeh (Contributor)

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1142149,617 (3.23)1



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Despite the contributor list reading like a Who's Who of my bookcase, this just wasn't that good. It wasn't bad--many of the stories were enjoyable--but the bulk ends up being forgettable. Several pieces feel like they were dashed off in a "why not?" response to the project, with minimal planning or editing. The "love letter" is interpreted several ways, but most end up with sarcastic and/or "twists"--love gone wrong, I Never Want To See You Again, letters from chimps to the primatologist who's been studying his clan. Taken as individual microfictions, these might be enjoyable, but when put together into a collection, there's not enough diversity in tone and/or subject matter to hold my interest. Did every author think they were being clever to write breakups and bitter irony as their love letters? The stand-outs were the ones who broke from that mold: a husband placing ad after ad, looking for his wife after Katrina. A performance artist stalking a woman he sees daily. Descriptions of photos that chronicled a relationship. Unfortunately, these pieces were the minority and back-loaded the book (arranged loosely by tone; the organizational plan is somewhat obtuse); many readers will likely never make it all the way to the few gems that are hidden here. ( )
  librarybrandy | Mar 29, 2013 |
Love Letters can be addressed to people, to places or to ideas, they can contain romance, happiness, bitterness or any other sentiment, they can also be funny, sad, moving or a everything at once, they can be sent with snail mail or with e-mail... This diverseness is perfectly represented in this book which collects invented Love letters from 41 authors, well-known ones as well as newcomers and located all over the world. All in all an inspiring, funny and moving book, and I enjoyed every page of it :) ( )
  pratchettfan | Apr 2, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Knelman, JoshuaEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Knelman, JoshuaEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Porter, RosalindEditor & Forewordmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Adichie, Chimamanda NgoziContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
AnonymousContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Atwood, MargaretContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bachelder, ChrisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Behrens, PeterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bezmozgis, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boyden, JosephContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brown, TessaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cohen, LeonardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Coupland, DouglasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dyer, GeoffContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Faber, MichelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, NeilContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Galgut, DamonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Karnezis, PanosContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kennedy, A. L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Keret, EtgarContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kunzru, HariContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Laird, NickContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
LaMarche, PhilContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Le Guin, Ursula K.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lethem, JonathanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lipsyte, SamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Malkani, GautamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Martin, ValerieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mater, HishamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morris, JanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Niffenegger, AudreyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Parker, JeffContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Prose, FrancineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Robertson, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Roumieu, GrahamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sayer, MandyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shriver, LionelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thorpe, AdamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Toews, MiriamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vallgren, Carl-JohanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vassanji, M. G.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Winterson, JeanetteContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zapruder, MatthewContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zeh, JuliContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Dear E(arth), I am writing to tell you to give up.
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Four letter word : new love letters, edited by Rosalind Porter & Joshua Knelman is a collection of epistolary fiction with contributions by many authors including Margaret Atwood.
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Four Letter Word brings us work from 35 of today's best writers.
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An original compilation of short fiction created in the form of a series of love letters by forty celebrated writers includes contributions from Jonathan Lethem, A.L. Kennedy, Jan Morris, Douglas Coupland, Margaret Atwood, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

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