Have you ever wanted to write a letter to an author who was important to you?

In her Letters to Men of Letters, Diane Joy Charney writes to the authors she admires, both living and dead, who continue to keep her company. Among these are Leonard Cohen, Franz Kafka, Marcel Proust, Vladimir Nabokov, Albert Camus, Gustave Flaubert, Balzac, Christo, the author’s father, and André Aciman.

This book features letters both real and imaginary that Charney has written to literary figures with whom she has an intense relationship. Libraries are full of books about these authors, but a letter is more intimate. Charney’s letters reflect what these timeless writers have taught her about herself, but also what they can offer the reader.

In the tradition of Jacqueline Raoul-Duval’s Kafka in Love and Rebecca Mead’s My Life in Middlemarch, each letter to men of letters—part literary love affair, part analysis, part intellectual coming of age—shows how what one reads can be inseparable from the person one becomes.

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