• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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I’ll Send You All My Love Every Day In a Letter

I just received a couple of really nice letters about the Bridge Ladies all this time later. I can’t tell you how good it makes me feel to know that someone is out there reading the book and liked it enough to reach out. When I wrote the Bridge Ladies, I was anxious that it might be too Jewish. When I asked my mother about it, she said, “Is Angela’s Ashes too Irish?” That was all I needed to hear and leaned into the insular Jewish lives of my bridge ladies. So it’s especially gratifying when someone mentions that they’re Italian or Episcopalian and related to the story. I’ve always believed that every story is universal is you find the details. I don’t believe in god, but I believe god is in the details.

Have you ever written a fan letter to an author? Spill!

9 Responses

  1. Oh, goodness! I’m another enthusiastic (non-Jewish) fan of “The Bridge Ladies”! I love your mother’s question, and I loved being in their world for that story that I didn’t want to end. I finished it and went right back to the beginning. Also a big fan of “The Forest for the Trees.” I required it in many a college creative writing class!

  2. I love your mom’s comment. Too right. And yes, fan mail from readers is the absolute best feeling.

  3. Dear Betsy

    I have been reading your posts for years and you continue to be a bracing breath of fresh air. Thank you.
    I have gushed at authors I’ve met in person but never wrote a fan mail letter. When I’m really enjoying a book , I will frequently look at authors photo, as I sometimes feel like I’m developing a connection to them that is meaningful because of the work. Probably doesn’t count.

    I’m trying to establish a nice fat literary prize for biography and would love to chat with you about that sometime. Authors need not only praise and love but also spondulicks!
    Would love your advice/input.


    Patricia Danaher

    Sent from my iPad

  4. “Have you ever written a fan letter to an author?”

    No, I don’t believe I have. I don’t even write Amazon reviews. I’m such a selfish prick.

    Oh wait! I remember! I think that is why I qualified my denial. Squiggling about in my neurons was recollection of a fan letter, or, more accurately fan email I once wrote. And now, another leaps from memory’s locker onto forebrain’s brightly lighted stage. Further, I think I likely have found, in other ways though not as traditional as the legendary letter format, means of conveying to writers my appreciation for their work.

    Pardon the stilted prose. I am just returned from morning’s spell of creative scribbling, where I am hammering out a long work wherein the characters do converse in forms somewhat archaic, if it could be said they ever existed at all. I should go read the morning paper. That will knock all the creative frou-frou out of my addled, distracted mind.

    I will tell you, before I go, dear Betsy, I have read two of your books — is that both of your books? published books? — and I liked them. Still have my copies. You go, girl. I go, now.

  5. I haven’t. I tend to simply admire from afar or will post reviews adorned with my love of the work.

  6. Not since Santa died. I read The Bridge Ladies recently. I guess writing (blogging is a form of writing) is a knida fan letter. But also a way of keeping score as your mind fades out.

  7. May have written a fan letter. I certainly am effusive at book signings. I write only 5 star reviews for Goodreads. Amazon requires a $50 purchase which is absolutely outrageous. Think of Joy Luck Club. I will try to get a copy of Bridge Ladies. I love to support my Jewish tribe.

  8. I write them all the time. Writing is such a lonely thing that I like to reach out and say, Good job, you! I’m always surprised when I get a response but many times I do. There’s so much out there to read that I like to say, I know what this book took and My God, you’re unbelievably talented.

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