The Whalestoe Letters
From House of Leaves
By Mark Z. Danielewski
(Pantheon, Paperback, 9780375714412, 86pp.)
Publication Date: October 10, 2000
Between 1982 and 1989, Pelafina H. Lièvre sent her son, Johnny Truant, a series of letters from The Three Attic Whalestoe Institute, a psychiatric facility in Ohio where she spent the final years of her life. Beautiful, heartfelt, and tragic, this correspondence reveals the powerful and deeply moving relationship between a brilliant though mentally ill mother and the precocious, gifted young son she never ceases to love.
Originally contained within the monumental House of Leaves, this collection stands alone as a stunning portrait of mother and child. It is presented here along with a foreword by Walden D. Wyhrta and eleven previously unavailable letters.
Mark Z. Danielewski was born in 1966.
"From the madhouse, Johnny Truant's mother writes some of the most tender, chilling, faux-psychotic writing I've ever read. This dangerous, lucid, confused
but very eloquent lady . . . is playful, apologetic, crazed, paranoid, self-abasing, cunning-- a tigress with a gift for gab."
--Robert Kelly, The New York Times Book Review
"The Whalestoe Letters are dazzling." --Steven Moore, The Washington Post
"Danielewski has a songwriter's heart." --John Freeman, Time Out New York