The Best Gift Ever!

Dear Phyllis:
 
The last time I wrote to you was over 10 years ago (!!!). I wanted to share the attached photo with you.

My super rad boyfriend Jordan and I celebrated an anniversary this past week. When I came home from work, a colourful trail of paper cranes on our hardwood floor led me to a very large…stack of books: the hitherto complete Alice collection, carefully selected in matching editions for my obsessive self.

I know. He’s great!

Phyllis, I’ve spoken to him and others of the series so often and with so much affection, about how it shaped me, taught me I was normal, was a friend to me. I was raised by the library and the Alice books were a beacon. I read them through grade school, high school and (when I’d since out-aged Lester, become a musician instead of a YA writer, and remembered new books were still being released) after work. I’d previously mentioned to Jordan how much I’d like to own the series for any future children or young people in my life.

I can’t wait to share his/your incredible gift, but in the meantime, I’m enjoying re-reading them so much myself. I’ve read the first two books since yesterday and already been laughing/crying out loud like a nut. I’m amazed at how current Alice’s voice remains, and how accurately (sometimes painfully!) you remind me of being whatever age she is. Thought you might like to know that a 31-year-old man in Toronto has just started reading the series, too.

I’m (we’re!) planning to get through all of them in anticipation of Now I’ll Tell You Everything. I remember when you first mentioned many years ago that the final book would be released in 2013 — at the time, an unfathomable date to me, but here we are! It will be very sad to see the series end, but such a huge joy for me to always have Alice to visit nearby on the shelf.

It must be thrilling to have made a lasting impression on so many, and on new generations as I can see from your website. I really like the way I turned out as a woman and for that, owe you thanks.

Thank you, Phyllis. I’ll be sure to write again after I’ve read and added the final book to our collection.

Phyllis replied:
 
What a joy your letter was!  Yes, here it is 2013–always seemed a long way off to me too.  I know I’m going to get a zillion emails from readers saying, “WHERE did her boyfriend find the complete collection?” but they should know we’re talking about the later books–those that you didn’t already have, especially the big bind-ups each containing three books each. It really makes it all worthwhile to know that the books have meant so much to you, and my editor is going to enjoy your email also.

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