Epistolary Stars overbooked.com

Fiction written in the form of a series of letters, journal entries, email (or other forms of "creative writing")


Annotations are from Advance, the Ingram Book Magazine, unless noted.
  • Which Brings Me to You
    Author: Almond, Steve & Julianna Baggott
    Publisher: Algonquin $ 23.95 ISBN: 156512443x Date: 2006
    A funny and shocking epistolary novel of modern love, told in the alternating voices of a man and a woman who spend the course of a year candidly writing to each other about their past love affairs.
    Updated 2.8.06
  • The Golden Mean: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondance of Griffin &Sabine Concludes
    Author: Bantock, Nick
    Publisher: Chronicle $ 17.95 ISBN: 0811802981 Date: 2006
    The story that began with Griffin & Sabine and continued in Sabine's Notebook concludes as the mystery of the two artists deepens and the content of each letter or postcard ultimately reveals the secrets behind their spirited, imaginative union.
    Updated 2.13.06
  • Dear Zoe
    Author: Beard, Philiip
    Publisher: Viking $ 21.95 ISBN: 0670034010 Date: 2005
    Beard's stunning debut is an epistolary novel written from 15-year-old Tess DeNunzio to her little sister Zoe. After Zoe's accidental death on September 11, 2001--a day so many others died--Tess's family is numbed by their personal tragedy. Not since The Lovely Bones has there been a study of grief, adolescence, and healing that rings as true as Dear Zoe.
    Suggested Reading: 9/11 Stars | Debuts | Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 2.15.05
  • Upstate
    Author: Buckhanon, Kalisha
    Publisher: St Martins $ 19.95 ISBN: 0312332688 Date: 2005
    Alex Awards | BBYA
    A powerful coming-of-age novel, in the vein of The Color Purple, is filled with tragedy, struggle, love, and triumph.
    Updated 2.16.06
  • Incendiary
    Author: Cleave, Chris
    Publisher: Knopf $ 22.95 ISBN: 0307262820 Date: 2005
    In this surreal vision made brilliantly, viscerally powerful and undeniable, a distraught woman in London, who has lost her husband and son in a suicide bombing, is pushed to acts of unfathomable desperation.
    Updated 2.16.06
  • Lord Byron's Novel: The Evening Land
    Author: Crowley, John
    Publisher: Morrow $ 25.95 ISBN: 0060556587 Date: 2005
    Spanning three centuries, Lord Byron's Novel interweaves three separate strands into one magnificent tale: the stories of a lost novel by Lord Byron, the daughter who tried to save it, and the woman who discovered her secret.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars
    Updated 6.9.05
  • Alice's Tulips
    Author: Dallas, Sandra
    Publisher: St Martins $ 22.95 ISBN: 0312203594 Date: 2000
    Booklist Editors' Choice - Adult Books for Young Adults
    Rich in details of quilting, Civil War-era America, and the realities of life in the 19th century, Alice's Tulips is the triumphant story of one woman's survival during a time of murder, intrigue, and treachery.
    Updated 2.16.06
  • Night Letters
    Dessaix, Robert
    Publisher: St Martin's List Price: $ 22.95 ISBN: 0312169507 Date: 1997
    Stricken with an incurable disease, an Australian man writes a series of letters from Italy to a friend back home. Museums, churches, cafes, and railway stations come under his cool gaze as he digs beneath the elegant veneer of European literature, uncovering centuries of sensuality and debauchery while pondering eternity. An instant #1 bestseller in Australia.
  • Ella Minnow Pea: A Progressivley Lipogrammatic Epistolary Fable
    Author: Dunn, Mark
    Publisher: Macadam Cage $ 22 ISBN: 0967370167 Date: 2001
    Ella Minnow Pea is a girl living happily on the fictional island of Nollop, South Carolina. Now Ella finds herself acting to save her friends, family, and fellow citizens from the encroaching totalitarianism of the island's Council, which has banned the use of certain letters of the alphabet in this love letter to language.
    Updated 2.14.06
  • Donorboy
    Author: Halprin, Brendan
    Publisher: Villard $ 12.95 ISBN: 1400062772 Date: 2004
    Rosalind had two mommies. Now, thanks to a tragic accident involving foodstuffs, she has none. And Sean, the sperm donor responsible for half her DNA (and nothing else), is taking custody. Rosalind finds herself adjusting to a new life that seems both hateful and surreal-she's an orphan with a new father, surrounded by friends she is beginning to despise and well-meaning adults who succeed only in annoying her.
    Sean made a donation fifteen years ago, and his life since has not gone according to plan. Thirty-five, single, and still grieving the loss of his own mother twenty-seven years ago, he decides to take on the overwhelming task of caring for an unhappy teenager he doesn't know.
    Told entirely through e-mail, instant messaging, journal entries, and other random communications, "Donorboy is the comic, compellingly readable novel of how these two people learn to converse, cook, write heavy-metal songs, and nail windows shut on their way to becoming a family. Brendan Halpin has written a universal story of how we laugh, cry, and occasionally punch our way to a new life in the face of tragedy. - Publisher Marketing.
    Updated 2.16.06
  • Epigraph
    Author: Lish, Gordan
    Publisher: Four Walls $ 22 ISBN: 1568580762 Date: 1996
    This audacious, stunning novel will neither sooth critics nor disappoint readers. It is an account of a man looking back on a period of his life which has drained him utterly. Told through a series of letters, it takes place after the death of Lish's wife of several decades, Barbara, who died at home after a long and paralyzing illness. Epigraph is both bitterly self-critical and merciless in its assessment of the motivations and failings of others.
    Updated 2.8.06
  • Shadow-Box
    Author: Logue, Antonia
    Publisher: Grove List Price: $ 24 ISBN: 0802116477 Date: 1999
    Based on one of the greatest and most unusual love stories of the 20th century, this literary novel explores the life of Arthur Cravan - semi-professional boxer, influential art critic, legendary bon vivant, and nephew of Oscar Wilde.
    Suggested Reading: Historical Fiction Stars | All Stars
  • Loredana: A Venetian Tale
    Author: Martines, Lauro
    Publisher: Thomas Dunne $ 23.95 ISBN: 0312347510 Date: 2005
    A riveting novel of politics and passion, love and lust in sixteenth-century Venice -- the story of two lovers caught up in a dangerous revolutionary movement -- written by a distinguished historian of the Italian Renaissance.
    Suggested Reading: Venice | Historical Fiction
    Updated 11.22.05
  • Simon Silber: Works for Solo Piano
    Author: Miller, Christopher
    Publisher: Houghton $ 23 ISBN: 061814336x Date: 2002
    Miller's darkly hilarious first novel takes the form of liner notes to a recording of the complete works of a prodigiously cranky composer, who haunts the borderland between genius and mediocrity.
    Suggested Reading: Debuts
    Updated 6/3/02
  • Fan Mail
    Author: Munson, Ronald
    Publisher: Dutton $ 20 ISBN: 0525936246 Date: 1993
    Told entirely with faxes, phone messages, memos, e-mail, tape transcripts, and one man's sinister letters, a suspenseful tale that updates the classic epistolary novel. Set in the fast-track world of TV news, this highly original thriller reveals an obsessive fan who stalks a beautiful TV anchorwoman.
    Updated 2.16.06
  • The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters
    Author: Robinson, Elizabeth
    Publisher: Little Brown $ 23.95 ISBN: 0316735027 Date: 2004
    The bestselling status (and subsequent blockbuster film adaptations) of Bridget Jones's Diary and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is proof of the enduring strength of this category. Although the novel is invented, Robinson is a successful Hollywood producer whose credits include Braveheart and Last Orders.
    Suggested Reading: Fiction & Mystery Debuts | All Stars | Humorous Fiction | Film Stars
    Updated 11.12.03
  • Gilead
    Author: Robinson, Marilynne
    Publisher: FSG $ 23 ISBN: 0374153892 Date: 2004
    In 1956, toward the end of Rev. John Ames's life, he begins a letter to his young son, an account of himself and his forebears. This is also the tale of wisdom forged during his solitary life and how history lives through generations, pervasively present even when betrayed and forgotten.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars
    Updated 8.12.04
  • Bitch Goddess
    Author: Rodi, Robert
    Publisher: Plume $ 13 (trade paper) ISBN: 0452283108 Date: 2002
    Told entirely through interviews, e-mails, fan magazine puff pieces, film reviews, shooting scripts, greeting cards, extortion notes, and court depositions, this is a hilarious account of the on-again, off-again career of Viola Chute, the B-grade sex symbol who slept her way to the middle and slid downward from there.
    Booklist Top 10 Gay & Lesbian Books (June 2002)
    Suggested Reading: Hollywood & Film Stars
    Updated 2/24/02
  • Cry of the Sloth
    Author: Savage, Sam
    $ 14 ISBN: 9781566892315 Date: 2009
    star PW star LJ star Kirkus
    From letters and diary entries to grocery lists, this novel comprises a collection of everything Andrew Whittaker commits to paper over the course of four critical months. This tragicomic portrait of a literary life chronicles an aspiring novelist who is--quite literally--authoring his own downfall.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars
    Updated 9.24.09
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin
    Author: Shriver, Lionel
    Publisher: Counterpoint $ 25 ISBN: 1582432678 Date: 2003
    Focusing on a boy who kills seven of his fellow students, Shriver tells a resonant story while framing the horrifying tableaux of teenage carnage as metaphors for the larger tragedy--the tragedy of a country where everything works, nobody starves, and anything can be bought but a sense of purpose.
    Updated 5.14.03
  • Fair and Tender Ladies
    Author: Smith, Lee
    Publisher: Putnam $ 17.95 ISBN: 0399133828 Date: 1988
    Returning to Appalachia, Lee Smith, author of Oral History, creates an unforgettable heroine: Ivy Rowe. From girlhood to old age, Ivy nourishes her family with her passion, imagination, and strength.
    Updated 2.16.06
  • The Year the Music Changed
    Author: Thomas, Diane
    Publisher: Toby $ 22.95 ISBN: 1592641229 Date: 2005
    A lonely 14-year-old fires off a fan letter to an unknown 20-year-old country singer named Elvis Presley, launching an intimate, touching correspondence that chronicles Achsa and Elvis' coming of age as artists and individuals.
    Suggested Reading: Elvis | Historical Fiction
    Updated 5.4.05
  • S
    Author: Updike, John
    Publisher: Knopf $ 29.95 ISBN: 0394568354 Date: 1988
    S. is an American woman who leaves her husband and her home for a commune in the Arizona desert in search of karma--and in pursuit of her guru. The story takes the form of letters and tapes as S. writes to her relatives and friends.
    Updated 2.16.06
  • Ojects in the Mirror are Closer Than They Appear
    Author: Weber, Katherine
    Publisher: Crown $ 23 ISBN: 0517598906 Date: 1995
    Award-winning photographer Harriet Rose has won a travel grant to Geneva, where she will stay with her old roommate and best friend, Anne Gordon. But Anne is in the midst of a disastrous affair with a much older married man, and Harriet struggles with how to rescue her.
    Updated 2.16.06
  • Letters to Alice: On First Reading Jane Austen
    Author: Weldon, Fay
    Publisher: Taplinger $ 14.95 ISBN: 0800847431 Date: 1985
    Inspired by a series of instructive letters written by Austen to a novel-writing niece, Letters to Alice is an epistolary novel in which an important modern writer responds to her niece's complaint that Jane Austen is boring and irrelevant.
    Updated 2.16.06
  • Clara Callan: A Novel
    Author: Wright, Richard B.
    Publisher: HarperCollins $ 25.95 ISBN: 0060506067 Date: 2002
    Wright's celebrated novel--2001 winner of both the Governor General's Award and the Giller Prize--beautifully evokes the relationship between two sisters in a time when people escaped from reality through radio and movies, when the Dionne Quints made headlines, and when the growing threat of fascism in Europe was a constant worry.
    Updated 8.13.02

Seeing Stars

Annotated lists of books receiving at least one starred review from one of four major review sources: Booklist, Kirkus, LJ and PW.

2012 Lists

more stars lists...

Hotlists@ Google Docs

Crime Fiction... 2012 | 2011

Fiction... 2012 | 2011

(lists of new and notable books - lists are sortable and can be downloaded)


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