I can’t remember the last time I wrote a letter

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Researching a book is no small undertaking. I spent months trudging through hundreds, yes, hundreds of letters written between my grandmother and her family and husband. Some of the writing is relatively easy to read, some of the letters take a certain skill to decipher, something my mother has and I do not. But it got me thinking, what correspondence will be left behind when my generation are gone. I can’t remember the last time I wrote a letter. I write thank you cards to people for presents or a delicious meal they’ve made me but never a letter about stuff…love, worries, daily grind, future plans. I email, Facebook and tweet but these things don’t really exist, not on paper anyway and I don’t share my inner thoughts and feelings in these places. How will our future novelists capture their long dead ancestors? Perhaps one day they’ll have access to cyberspace or maybe they’ll just have to make it up as they go along. I’m glad I have well documented material to work from. I don’t think I could capture my protagonist (My Grandmother) without them. Even though I knew my granny, she was always a slightly eccentric Anglo-Indian old lady to me, not the young woman I have got to know so well. Thanks Phyllis Maude Dover for being such a great letter writer. I  hope you approve of my portrayal of you. You truly are an inspiration and I wish I’d known you better.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “I can’t remember the last time I wrote a letter

  1. Lucky you! What a treasure trove you must have. I’m envious.

    I wish my family wrote letters. Even if they did though, I’d struggle to read Chinese. Actually, I wouldn’t be able to read it at all.

  2. Isn’t it sad to think our descendants will miss out on this opportunity. People will not really keep emails in the same way they keep letters. And even if they did there isn’t much poetry in most emails.

    Karen@BookerTalk

    • Yes, its a terrible situation really. My husband thinks that facebook will make posts and private messages available in the future …the problem is they are not interesting! Not many deep and meaningful scribblings to be found there!

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