I love writing and receiving letters, so naturally I'm a sucker for a book written in letter form. Letters and epistolary books have a long literary tradition, but particularly in recent years, more and more authors have used this method of storytelling to convey their ideas.
Epistolary books can include formats other than letters, including diary entries, news clippings, e-mails, text messages, and government documents. But for this round-up, I'm concentrating just on books that are written specifically in letter form. How does a book being written as a letter affect the way it interacts with the audience? What are the various ways in which letters can be used?
I always feel more personally connected to books written as letters, as if the author is writing to me specifically. Letter-writing in nonfiction often feels more intimate, as though the author is having a private chat with me, not speaking through an essay. In fiction, however, letters can provide a block to the truth — is a character telling the full story? Or just their side of events?
Here are seven books that have taken the form of letters — from Between the World and Me to The Perks of Being a Wallflower.