Letters to a Best Friend

Richard Selzer
eISBN-13: 9781438427201

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In 1988, when author and former surgeon Richard Selzer answered a letter from Peter Josyph, a New York artist he had met, he did not know that he was embarking on the most enduring correspondence of his life. In thousands of letters, written in longhand over the course of two decades, Selzer devoted himself to the epistolary art—an art that, even among writers, has become increasingly rare in an age of cell phones, e-mails, and text messaging. "Letters are definitely a genre," Selzer says, "and I think it's one of the best." As this lively and intimate collection demonstrates, Richard Selzer is one of its master practitioners.

In spontaneous, conversational style, Selzer writes about his life and work with the unpredictable vision and sharpness of wit that, in his stories, memoirs, and personal essays, have made his reputation as one of the great prose stylists of his day. It is also the record of a friendship. As Peter Josyph remarks in his introduction, "With a good correspondence, as with the blowing between horn players improvising off each other's riffs, it isn't easy to say whether it's art or society because it is both of them at once. This is a book about two men who value a friendship balanced upon words; men for whose friendship the phone is a thief; men who are comfortable with the U.S. mail."

ISBNs 9781438427225, 1438427204, 9781438427201
Language English