Letters of Note: Dogs

Edited by Shaun Usher. Penguin Books, $15 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-0-14-313474-9
Dogs are a writer’s best friend in this charming installment in the Letters of Note series (after Letters of Note: Love). Thirty letters from a wide variety of writers span over 600 years and highlight “our ever-evolving relationship with this magnificent creature.” In 1351, poet Francesco Petrarch wrote to his friend Matteo with a praise-heavy update about Matteo’s dog, which Petrarch had adopted. Patrick Brontë, meanwhile, wrote to his daughter Charlotte in 1853 from the perspective of her dog Flossy: “Trust dogs rather than men,” he urged. E.B. White hilariously responded in 1951 to the ASPCA’s accusation that his dachshund Minnie was unlicensed (“If by ‘harboring’ you mean getting up two or three times every night to pull Minnie’s blanket up over her, I am harboring a dog all right”), Zora Neale Hurston wrote to her literary agent in 1960 detailing a piece she was working on about her dog Spot, and comedian Sue Perkins wrote to her dog Pickle after his death (“First, a confession: I had you killed”). Where the collection shines is in its ability to reveal unexpected information about the correspondents’ lives: “I have always disliked people who talk baby talk to dogs,” John Steinbeck declares. Dog lovers will savor this quirky collection. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 08/25/2021
Release date: 11/02/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 144 pages - 978-0-7710-4975-0
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