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Publisher's Summary

“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 call for authors to write a letter to a stranger about an unforgettable encounter, she opened the floodgates. The responses—intimate and addictive, all written in the second person—began pouring in. These short, insightful essays by a remarkable cast of writers, including Elizabeth Kolbert, Pico Iyer, Lauren Groff, Gregory Pardlo, Faith Adiele, Maggie Shipstead, Lia Purpura, Kiki Petrosino, and Jamil Jan Kochai, are organized around such themes as Gratitude, Wonder, and Farewell and guide us both across the globe and through the mysteries of human connection. 

Addressed to a first responder after a storm, a gambler encountered on jury duty, a waiter in Istanbul, a taxi driver in Paris, a roomful of travelers watching reality TV in La Paz, and dozens of others, the pieces are replete with observations about how to live and what we seek, and how a stranger’s loaded glance, shared smile, or question posed can alter the course of our lives. 

Moving and unforgettable, Letter to a Stranger is an irresistible listen for the literary traveler and the perfect gift for anyone who is haunted by a person they met once and will remember forever.

©2022 Colleen Kinder (P)2022 Letter to a Stranger

Critic Reviews

“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

“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)

What listeners say about Letter to a Stranger

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