For Nina Sankovitch e-mail, Facebook, texting, and Twitter all have their place, but none can compare to a good, old-fashioned letter. In her follow-up to 2011’s acclaimed Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, the former Evanstonian pays homage to the vanishing art of letter writing with a fascinating journey through the long history of the letter. Praised by 60 Minutes reporter Lesley Stahl as “a joy to read, savor, and remember,” Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Celebrating the Joys of Letter Writing shares the unforgettable letters of mothers, slaves, aristocrats, famous artists, and even Sankovitch’s husband in making a powerful case for the continued importance of letters. On Tuesday, July 15th, you can hear Ms. Sankovitch read from Signed, Sealed, Delivered when she visits EPL’s 1st Floor Community Meeting Room at 7 p.m. In anticipation of her visit, we recently spoke with her via email about preserving the history of everyday people, the trappings of instant response, handwriting, letters from her son, and her next book.
Nina Sankovitch has always been a book lover, and now she’s an author as well. In June the former Evanstonian celebrated the publication of her debut book Tolstoy and the Purple Chair – an inspiring memoir that recounts her year spent reading one book a day in order to heal from her older sister’s tragic death. Moving and insightful, Purple Chair has been lauded by of the L.A. Times, O Magazine, and Publisher’s Weekly who called it “an entertaining bibliophile’s dream… [that] champions the act of reading not as an indulgence but as a necessity.” On July 14th Ms. Sankovitch visited EPL to read from Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, and as an encore, she recently spoke with us via email about how her reading journey evolved into a book, the pleasures and perils of sharing books, Purple Chair’s life lessons, and letters as an “endangered species.”