Letter to a Stranger

Essays to the Ones Who Haunt Us
by Colleen Kinder, Leslie Jamison

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“Beautiful. The human condition is on full display in these glimpses of our essential connectedness. Perfect for our times.” 
—Dani Shapiro, author of Inheritance

Sixty-five extraordinary writers grapple with this mystery: How can an ephemeral encounter with a stranger leave such an eternal mark?

When Colleen Kinder put out a...
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Published By Algonquin Books

Format Paperback


Number Of Pages 336

Publication Date 03/22/2022

ISBN 9781643751245

Dimensions 5.75 inches x 8.35 inches

“Refreshingly unique in voice from one to the next but all sharing a lyrical quality . . . Rich with culture, history, and delicious nuggets of local detail . . . Letter to a Stranger is an endearing reminder of the humanity that surrounds us; messy, awkward, compassionate, vulnerable . . . Enchanting.”
Associated Press

“A celebration of the adventure that is other people.”
Ariel Levy, author of The Rules Do Not Apply 

“The power of brief encounters is illuminated in this moving collection . . . Bright and hopeful, this anthology is sure to delight avid travelers.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Sweet but often poignant collection . . . Mesmerizing . . . This highly recommended collection of letters would appeal to many types of readers, including individuals interested in creative writing, the epistolary form, or travel literature.”
Library Journal (starred review)  

“Poignant, vividly described and thought-provoking . . . Each one is a thoughtful, engaging, gemlike tribute to a person whose presence changed each writer's life forever.”
Shelf Awareness (starred review)

“Guaranteed to fill you with wanderlust.”
Kirkus Reviews  

“A collection that can be read more than once and feel new each time. Readers looking for quiet contemplation as well as conversation starters will find equal satisfaction in these pages.”

“The process of reflecting on what a stranger meant to one, reveals deep, perhaps hidden, truths about one’s own life . . . A very interesting book and a great approach to thoughtful writing.”
Manhattan Book Review

“[An] intimate collection of letters from some of the most beloved authors of our time, and perfect is an understatement . . . A book that has earned a permanent spot on my bookshelf, and one I do not think I will ever get tired of skimming through.”
Grace Sullivan (Fountain Bookstore) in The Southern Bookseller Review

“The symphony of voices in Letter to a Stranger is at times rousing and exhilarating, at other times piercing and plaintive. The human condition is on full display, here in these fleeting glimpses of our essential connectedness. This beautiful book is a perfect one for our times. It reminds us that we are witnesses to one another’s joys and heartaches, even if we never exchange a word.”
—Dani Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of Inheritance 
“By turns, moving, hilarious, and scary, this collection of taut fiery essays is a sprint around the world—all keyhole portraits of unexpected brushes with that one character who flares with meaning.”
Jack Hitt, author of Bunch of Amateurs 

“A collection of stories from writers who’ve had an amazing experience with someone they don’t know but who has changed their life or impacted their journey . . . Poignant.”
The Edmonton Journal