Monday, December 21, 2009

Rereading Dad's Letters

While very sweet, the genre of collecting a father's letters does significantly lower the bar to authorhood.

So, we celebrate new authors Jeff Chostner and Richard Leitman. Chostner collected the letters to his grandparents from his WWII naval pop into "Pueblo Sailor" — actually it was his grandfather who saved them (the lowered bar).

Admittedly, Wayne, New Jersey's Leitman did a bit of his own typing. Still, what carries his book, Dear Roz, are the letters his soldier father wrote his mother from the groundwar in Germany. He may have found out a great deal about his father, following the latter's passing, but it is still his father's words that carry the day, but give his son authorship.

But as we celebrate the authors, praise them for keeping their dads' memories alive, we do regret that what is surely extraordinary material is not being made into books a bit larger in scope and imagination.

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