A Literary Correspondence

Dear Rick,

How are things at school? Your mom tells me you’ve decided to major in literature, and I think that’s fine. I used to be a great reader, but as I got older and had children, I just got too busy. I suppose I have plenty of time to read now, though – I don’t know why I don’t! If you read anything good, tell me. I’ll read it.

Love,
Grandma  

Dear Rick,

I took your suggestion, and read Slaughterhouse Five. I always meant to read something by Vonnegut, as he was so popular, but I must admit, I did not enjoy this one. Perhaps I misread it, but is this book meant to be funny? Let me tell you, I lived through that war, and there was nothing funny about it. Maybe suggest something lighter next time!

Love,
Grandma

Dear Rick,

Thank you for sending me The Corrections. I thought it was interesting. I felt terribly sorry for those people, all being so horrible all the time. Aren’t you lucky that you come from a family where everyone isn’t nasty to each other?

Love,
Grandma

Dear Rick,

I do not appreciate your mailing me a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul. I get it, young man, but just because I don’t love everything you do does not mean I am only interested in pabulum. I used to adore Steinbeck, and in one of his books, a lady throws her baby right into the river, and then she breastfeeds a homeless man.

Love,
Grandma

Dear Rick,

Did this Middlesex really win the Pulitzer? I declare, write something really filthy, and everyone calls it art.

Love,
Grandma

Dear Rick,

I very much enjoyed American Pastoral. Tell you what, though, if I’d been the Swede, I’d have hogtied that girl and taken her to a hut in the woods, and there we would have stayed until she saw reason. But men always let their daughters get away with murder.

Love,
Grandma

Dear Rick,

Thanks for sending me The Color Purple, but sadly, I’ve seen the movie, so I already know how this one ends.

Love,
Grandma

Dear Rick,

I do not agree when you say that plots are not so important. You know who says that? Authors who cannot come up with good plots. And thus, I did not enjoy To the Lighthouse. I like novels. This book is a very long, dull poem.

Love,
Grandma

Dear Rick,

John Irving? You’re smarter than that, Rick.

Love,
Grandma

Dear Rick,

I appreciate your paying for the postage to send me Infinite Jest, but I’m retired and even I do not have time to read a 1000-page novel, much less one that I can’t make heads nor tails of. Are you really reading these things? If so, I must conclude that you’re neglecting the rest of your coursework.

Love,
Grandma

Dear Rick,

I take back what I said about the long books. I burned through Anna Karenina in what felt like no time. What a great read! That Anna sure got what was coming to her, don’t you think?

Love,
Grandma

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