WORD SEARCH with Adair Jones

Review of Sincerely, curated by Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire

Posted in review by Adair Jones on December 5, 2012

sincerely

“Witty, wise and wonderful”

Sincerely: Further adventures in the art of correspondence from Women of Letters

Try as I might, I just couldn’t read this book cover to cover.  It’s designed to be dipped into, and this is but one of the many joys Sincerely has to offer.  Sincerely is the second collection by Women of Letters, a literary salon with the aim of celebrating the lost art of letter writing while also raising funds for the Victorian animal rescue shelter, Edgar’s Mission.

There are love letters, complaints, apologies, letters to treasured possessions, to songs, to white lies and to good decisions, to lives that could have been lived— themes that are diverse and intriguing, that give readers an intimate look into the hearts of some of Australia’s finest literary, political, and theatrical figures.  Helen Garner writes to a primary school teacher she misjudged, looking back on childhood experience with adult eyes.  Alice Pung’s exploration of cross-cultural misunderstanding in online dating had me laughing out loud.

Sincerely also includes letters from men writing to the woman who changed their lives, with a range of offerings from Julian Burnside, Shaun Micallef, David Williamson, and Robert Manne, to name only a few.

Though the entries in this collection were first performed at the Women of Letters salon events, nothing is lost in the written word.  In fact, the individual voices of the authors shine through, sometimes lighthearted and whimsical, sometimes poignant and nostalgic.  Sincerely is a potent tribute to an art that is shown to be not only a lot of fun but also very much alive.

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Sincerely: Further adventures in the art of

correspondence from Women of Letters

curated by Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire

Penguin Australia

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Review first published in The Courier-Mail in November 2012.

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