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Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Celebrating the Joys of Letter Writing

The author of the much-admired Tolstoy and the Purple Chair goes on a quest through the history of letters and her own personal correspondence to discover and celebrate what is special about the handwritten letter.

Witty, moving, enlightening, and inspiring, Signed, Sealed, Delivered begins with Nina Sankovitch’s discovery of a trove of hundred year- old letters. The letters are in an old steamer trunk she finds in her backyard and include missives written by a Princeton freshman to his mother in the early 1900s. Nina’s own son is heading off to Harvard, and she hopes that he will write to her, as the Princeton student wrote to his mother and as Nina wrote to hers. But times have changed. Before Nina can persuade her child of the value of letters, she must first understand for herself exactly what it is about letters that make them so significant—and just why she wants to receive letters from her son. Sankovitch sets off on a quest through the history of letter writing—from the ancient Egyptians to the medieval lovers Abelard and Heloise, from the letters received by President Lincoln after his son’s death to the correspondence of Edith Wharton and Henry James.

Sankovitch uncovers and defines the specific qualities that make letters so special, examining not only historical letters but also the letters in epistolary novels, her husband’s love letters, and dozens more sources, including her son’s brief reports from college on the weather and his allowance.

In this beautifully written book, Nina Sankovitch reminds us that letters offer proof and legacy of what is most important in life: love and connection. In the end, she finds, the letters we write are even more important than the ones we wait for.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451687156 | 
  • April 2014
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Video

Nina Sankovitch: Book that Changed My Life

Nina Sankovitch, author of Signed, Sealed, Delivered, has returned to the same book many times over her life for inspiration.

About the Author

Nina Sankovitch

Nina Sankovitch is the acclaimed author of Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, selected by Oprah as a “book to read now,” and a contributing writer for the Huffington Post. She is married and lives in Connecticut.

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