Letters with Literary Character

Ben Greenman, a fiction writer and editor at the New Yorker, has a short story collection coming out this June. What He’s Poised To Do makes letters and letter-writing a thematic focus, and even before its official publication, Greenman’s collection has inspired a blog that encourages everyday people to write letters to great literary characters. The sample below gives you the gist of the project … and then some. If so inspired, send your own letter to: LettersWithCharacter@gmail.com.

Ernest Hemingway | The Sun Also Rises | 1926

Dear Brett,

I find myself in the horrible position of telling you what a truly terrible human being you are. I know what you’re doing with Jake and Robert when you’re very much engaged to Michael. Now, don’t give me any sob story about how you lost your “only true love” at such a young age. This gives you NO right to be a tramp. Also, half the women in Paris would agree that you are NOT charming when you are drunk like you think you are. In fact I would go as far as to say you are repulsive in all forms of the word. Occasionally, I cringe when you speak because it is always to use someone. You’re despicable. Disgusting. You’re a pedantic weenie.

Alexandria Smith

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