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Book Title

Letter to a Future Lover

Marginalia, Errata, Secrets, Inscriptions, and Other Ephemera Found in Libraries
Author 1
Ander Monson
Readers of physical books leave traces: marginalia, slips of paper, fingerprints, highlighting, inscriptions. All books have histories, and libraries are not just collections of books and databases, but a medium of long-distance communication with other writers and readers.

Letter to a Future Lover collects several dozen brief pieces written in response to library ephemera—with “library” defined broadly, ranging from university institutions to friends’ shelves, from a seed library to a KGB prison library—and addressed to readers past, present, and future.

Through these witty, idiosyncratic essays, Ander Monson reflects on the human need to catalog, preserve, and annotate; the private and public pleasures of reading; the nature of libraries; and how the self can be formed through reading and writing.

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An exuberant, expansive cataloging of the intimate physical relationship between reader and book

About the Author

Ander  Monson
Credit: Aidan Avery
Ander Monson is the author of Letter to a Future Lover; Vanishing Point, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Neck Deep and Other Predicaments. He edits DIAGRAM and the New Michigan Press. He lives in Tucson, where he teaches at the University of Arizona.
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  • “[Monson’s essays] ride against scheme, the strictures of genre and the assumptions of form. . . . Each entry asserts a future for old-fashioned reading.”—The New York Times Book Review
  • Letter to a Future Lover becomes an invocation from the present to a distant set of readers, the ‘future lovers’ of its title, reminding them, above all else, that we were here.”David Ulin, Jacket Copy
  • “Ander Monson brings a scavenger’s eye and romantic spirit to these funny, poignant pieces of history public and personal.”The Barnes & Noble Review  
  • “Monson writes with an ease and enthusiasm. . . . Letter to a Future Lover finds a million paths to the same point — ‘The loss of things. A species a minute. A book a second.’ — but in doing so, it also enacts the magic of the written word.”—The Boston Globe
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