Ander Monson is the author of 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 and teaches at the University of Arizona.
An exuberant, expansive cataloging of the intimate physical relationship between a reader and a book
A way to leave a trace of us, who we were or wanted to be, what we read and could imagine, what we did and what we left for you.
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.
Praise for Ander Monson
“So funny and so smart (but never smug), Monson’s writing makes you realize how very alive thinking and writing can be.” —NPR
“[Monson’s] geek act has charm. Obsessed with the bric-a-brac of electronic culture . . . as well as outmoded technologies like Telex, Monson revels in the way information flows through the world.” —The New York Times Book Review