Letters from the Closet    -     By: Amy Hollingsworth
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Letters from the Closet

Howard Books / 2013 / Hardcover

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Product Description

It was an unlikely friendship---the relationship between a closeted gay high school English teacher and Hollingsworth, his brilliant female student. But as they exchanged a decade's worth of letters preceding his death, their connection became life-changing. Hollingsworth's honest, poignant memoir reveals their attempts to unmask each other---and the costs and rewards of knowing and being known. Hardcover.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Howard Books
Publication Date: 2013
Dimensions: 7 X 5 (inches)
ISBN-13: 9781451666779
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

It’s Tuesdays with Morrie if Morrie were young and gay and Mitch Albom were a woman.

As the years and letters passed between John and Amy, the layers fell off as they explored and unmasked themselves and each other. “A teacher is like a book,” John wrote, “wasted until he’s read. The student has to do that. You’ve done that.” While going through a period of despair, he wrote, “I hope our relationship survives your growing up and my growing down.”

Every writer needs a room of his own, but for some people, at certain times and in certain circumstances, the best you can do is a closet. From the confines—and protection—of his closet, John wrote these letters, letters that were read, cherished, and then locked away for decades in Amy’s closet. Now they are chronicled and shared for your enrichment.

***

A Different Kind of Love Story

Timely and relevant, this is a love story of the most contemporary kind. It’s a rare and beautiful glimpse into an intimate, but platonic, relationship between a gay English teacher and his young female protégée—each seeking connection and acceptance.

Now the student-turned-author looks back at the decade of letters that preceded her teacher’s untimely death. She collects the shards left by their clumsy, sometimes violent, attempts to unmask each other and counts the cost of knowing and being known.

Alternating between letter excerpts and a beautiful narrative from Amy, the story unfolds, making readers privy to a very personal tribute to the teacher who profoundly changed her life. As you enter their unveiled world, you’ll see truth reflected in their raw insights—and you’ll discover new revelations for your own life.

Author Bio

Before writing books, Amy Hollingsworth wrote for various magazines and was a writer for eight years for The 700 Club. She holds a masters degree in counseling psychology and a bachelors degree in both English and psychology. She lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with her husband Jeff and their children.

Editorial Reviews

Letters from the Closet is a beautiful book: an unusually honest memoir that explores the need for self-discovery and exposes the dangers of self-delusion.”
“I felt deep stirrings in the first few pages of this remarkable book, stirrings that I eventually came to recognize as healing, my own. With her exquisite prose, wisdom, wit, and most of all courage, Amy Hollingsworth shows what wondrous things can happen when we open our respective closets and let the darkness meet the light. After the privilege of reading her here, I know I feel less alone.”
“Rarely do I get excited about a book that comes my way, but Letters from the Closet is beautifully written, intelligent, multilayered, sensitive, and alarmingly mature. I promise you, you will enjoy this book for its art and its insight. As I read it, I felt that my heart was more active than my mind, but both were at full speed. You need to read it more than once, because there's a lot going on. If you don't read it at least once, you're missing out on a rare treat. There is not a word out of place in this skillfully written book.”
“The relationships that wield the most influence in our lives are often complex. They defy tidy categories, intermingle joy with pain, teach us how to live, and surpass even the power of death. Letters from the Closet poignantly captures just such a relationship. Part memoir, part love letter, and part tribute, the book shows how words, letters, books, and dreams are woven together to shape a life, a soul, and a love.”
“In this unique memoir, Amy Hollingsworth opens the door to her intimate correspondence with her extraordinary high school English teacher. I had anticipated that Letters from the Closet was going to be about a teacher’s struggle with sexual orientation, but the book turned out to be even more about the author’s own self-exploration and discovery. By sharing the healing power of their mutual self-disclosure, Amy invites us to join them in lifting off our own masks—and identifying our own gifts and life purpose.”
“Psychologically astute and literarily informed, Amy Hollingsworth makes poetry of closets—closed ones, bursting ones, neat ones, and fearful ones. Yet there is one closet she does not mention, and it is that one that is central to this deeply insightful memoir. It is the one that a child enters, one filled with ghosts and frightful encounters, and one through which she can only feel her way until she bursts through the back and falls into maturity, wisdom, and what might well be called New Creation.”
Letters From the Closet by Amy Hollingsworth. Longtime Pop Candy readers will recognize Hollingsworth as "Sister Carrie" from our hugely popular Lost discussions. Her latest, beautifully written book tells the story of the enlightening correspondence she had with her closeted high school English teacher.

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