Before email, instant messaging, tweets, texting and even phoning, friends and family exchanged letters. Epistolary fiction is a story based on letters or diary entries, a format that is enjoying a resurgence.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a recent bestseller and a favorite of many book groups, is the correspondence between a British journalist and a reading group from Guernsey, set just after World War II. (KPL also has the audiobook version.)
Twenty years of correspondence is the basis for 84 Charing Cross Road, based on the real-life exchange of letters between New Yorker Helene Hanff, a freelance writer, and Frank Dole, a used book dealer in London.
One of my favorites in this format is The Diary of Mattie Spenser, a fictional journal of settling the Colorado Territories in the late 1800’s.
There are children’s, teen, and adult materials, fiction and nonfiction, in a letter or diary format. The subject headings in our catalog are “epistolary fiction” and “diary fiction.”
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society