Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What We've Been Reading: Other People's Rejection Letters

I consider myself a curious person, which is a nice way of saying that I have a hard time minding my own business.  So naturally I'm a big fan of burgeoning Schadenfreude genre, that include collections of people's mail, awkward photographs, or darkest secrets including editor Bill Shapiro's other book Other People's Love Letters.

This book is relatable. Almost everyone has been and will be rejected numerous times in their lifetime and have probably had the unpleasant experience of rejecting someone else.  But you also get the creepy rush of reading something you're not supposed to have seen.  What's not to love?

There is a wide mix of rejection letters including romantic, business, academic and even medical.  Who knew there were so many ways to get rejected?  Some of the letters are funny.  My personal favorite is a profane letter issued from a Cleveland council man to a repeat offender/ drug dealer in his ward. He refers to the drug dealer as "dumber than mud" and that's actually one of the nicer things in his letter. Some of the letters are sad or written in cold business or legal terms.  The book also features letters to and from famous people, including MoMA turning down a Warhol painting (whoops!) and F. Scott Fitzgerald telling his daughter what he really thinks of her (it's not pretty).  Best of all the book has a post-script, letting you know how things turned out for some of the rejectees. So check out this book, it's less creepy that listening to your neighbors' conversations by pressing a glass against their wall!

Find It in the Catalog!