Patty in Costa Rica, 1965

Love Letters in Women Writers, Women’s Books

The first letter I ever wrote to my maternal aunt Ruth, was in 1965. I don’t remember what possessed me to write to her. The risk was great and the reach was far. The letter was no doubt desperate, confessing my troubles to someone who was related, but whom I barely knew, someone I had rarely ever seen, who lived in another country—a message in a bottle.

Her quick reply contained an unexpected invitation. Within two weeks, I quit my job at a residential treatment center for disturbed kids, cashed my last paycheck, got my first passport, and bought a one-way ticket from Madison, Wisconsin to San Jose, Costa Rica. Read More…

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