James Tiptree. Jr.’s letter to Carol Emshwiller

Mon 11 Sep 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Recently we got the chance (you know, dark alleys, anonymous meetings in bars, dead letter boxes, the usual routine) to buy a letter to Carol Emshwiller from James Tiptree. Jr., aka Alice Sheldon (whose bio, by Julie Phillips, is burning up the book charts). Carol never replied but she kept writing and now has quite a few books out, including The Mount, Report to the Men’s Club, and Carmen Dog.

It’s a fantastic letter: over-the-top, enthusiastic, coffee-stained—although whose that is and when it happened is unknown.

We forged some ownership papers and caravaned it safely out of the country to our cold storage facility in the Arctic where it’s got a whole ice-cavern of its own.

But that didn’t seem quite right, so we’ve put up a low-resolution scan. This is how it starts:

24 May 75

Dear Carol Emshwiller:

May a stranger make known how much your book, JOY IN OUR CAUSE has been enjoyed? Weak word, meant to include admired, goggled at, occasionally genuflected to, been rivetted in entrancement by, and, not least, suffered suicidal inferiority-convictions from.

Read on

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  1. heather w on September 11th, 2006 1:53 pm

    thank you for sharing that.

  2. Richard on September 11th, 2006 2:54 pm

    It’s funny, just yesterday I sent in my Wiscon 30 memory for the Wiscon 31 program book, and that was it–standing at the auction table when Carol walked up w/ the letter. Me being immediately amazed, her genuinely not thinking anyone would think it valuable. Go, Carol, go.

  3. Jackie M. on September 11th, 2006 6:00 pm

    Thank you!

  4. Mike Emmons on September 12th, 2006 12:07 am

    This is fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing it.

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