BOOK REVIEW: Women of Letters (Michaela McGuire & Marieke Hardy, Viking)

Women of Letters is a collection of letters penned by well-known Australians, originally performed at a series of events of the same name. Curated by Michaela McGuire and Marieke Hardy, these events began in 2010 as a fundraiser for the Victorian animal shelter Edgar’s Mission. The idea was to celebrate the art of letter writing and showcase local talent by asking prominent Australian women—and some men in a special Men of Letters event—to write a letter on a particular theme. When you read this book you will: laugh out loud at actor Noni Hazlehurst’s letter to her first boss and comedian Fiona Scott-Norman’s letter to her nemesis; wish your 12-yearold- self could have received a letter like the one penned by musician Jen Cloher; come close to tears over the letter former politician Mary Delahunty wishes she had written; and if you are the romantic sort, fall a little in love with entertainer Eddie Perfect, whose letter is written to the woman who changed his life. Readers of all ages will get a glimpse of themselves in this surprising, thoughtful, funny and inspiring book, which deserves to find a place in everyone’s home.

Eloise Keating is a journalist with the Weekly Book Newsletter and Bookseller+Publisher. This review first appeared in the October issue of Bookseller+Publisher magazine.

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