Suspend Your Disbelief

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Dear Franny,

I know, sweetheart. I know how you feel. I left school because I was surrounded by people who failed to recognize their potential as human beings. They nattered on and on about the most insubstantial things, and they could not see past the end of their egotistical noses, and more than once I felt queasy when I stared down at a chicken sandwich, inane prattle ringing in my ears. But I promise you that there are still people who are bright and good and kind.

What_Hes_Poised_To_DoThe above is an excerpt from a letter to Franny, you know the one, of Franny & Zooey-by-J. D. Salinger fame? Anne turned me on to “Letters with Character,” a site that’s now got me hooked. The idea: ‘letters to fictional characters from actual people.’ Created as a companion to What He’s Poised to Do, a story collection by Ben Greenman, the site welcomes submissions: “Letters can be funny, sad, digressive, trenchant, or trivial. We receive too many submissions to publish every one; we strive for a balance of genres and periods. Letters must be written by a real person and must also address an unreal one. There are no other requirements.” Inspired to reach out to Claire Messud’s hapless Bootie, or Jan Elizabeth Watson’s indomitable Asta? Here’s where you can write them:

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