Monday, September 13, 2010

Foreign Correspondence + a Letter Swap

Title: Foreign Correspondence - A Pen Pal's Journey from Down Under to All Over
Author: Geraldine Brooks
Category: Memoir

"But the huge spaces, the deep silences, the vast paddocks free of road rules and stranger danger could never be transported to the black-bitumen blocks of suburban Concord. The great dark mass of movement from country to city is made up of little specks like me: children who don't have any land left to visit, except in their parents' memories."

I have been penpalling since I was 7 years old and am still in touch with my first pen pal. As a shy child growing up in rural South Australia, penpalling was a convenient way to make friends and learn about the world beyond my own, and over the years has taught me many things about people and the world in which we live.

This is the experience shared by Geraldine Brooks in her memoir, Foreign Correspondence. Her desire to learn more about the world through penpalling created the framework for the rest of her life, growing up to become a journalist and Foreign Correspondent.

After many years of silence, she decides to seek out the long-lost pen pals from her youth, the results of which are both unexpected and insightful. Through these people, strangers but not, she learns more about herself than she could have possibly imagined.

An interesting memoir, beautifully told.


Inspired by Geraldine Brooks' memoir and my own love for the lost art of letter writing, I have decided to host an old-fashioned letter swap for anyone who wants to take part.

All you need to do to sign up is leave a comment with your email and/or blog address, expressing your interest in participating. Each person will have one partner, although you can specify for more if you wish.

At the end of the sign-up period I will randomly generate partners and email you that person's contact details. You and your partner will then need to exchange postal address details in order to post your letters.What you decide to put in your letter is entirely up to you.

Sign up ends 29 September 2010
Partners allocated 30 September 2010
Letters must be sent using the old-fashioned postal service
All letters should be in the mail no later than 29 October 2010

--> Any questions, just ask!


  1. **Due to problems with publishing comments, I have had to copy/paste this message from Amanda for it to appear**

    I agree that letter writing is a lost art and i would love to participate in the letter swap. I remember when I was little and my sister would sent friendship letters and how fun it was to get that letter. My email is or my blog is

    Thanks! Amanda

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I'll most certainly take part in this! My email is:

    rae @

    (Just remove the spaces!)

    And here's my blog:

    Thank you for inviting me!

  4. oh, lovely! my email is Can't wait!

  5. i found my way here via lovely denise at "a bun can dance". i participated in her letter writing swap the other year and it was a delight! for so many reasons. so i do believe i would love to participate here and now too:)

    my blog is "the world according to pia" and can be found here

    i hope you get loads of eager letter writers to participate!

    have a lovely weekend:) /Pia in Sweden

  6. I would love to take part in your letter swap...e mails sometimes just don't seem personal enough..My address is

  7. I would love to participate in this letter swap — any excuse to put pen to paper.


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