Younger Than That Now
A Shared Passage from the Sixties
Publication Date: May 1, 2001
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An unforgettable dual memoir that explores an extraordinary friendship ... and illuminates a generation.
It began in 1969, when a group of bored Long Island high school reporters wrote, for a lark, an obnoxious note to Ruth Tuttle, the editor of a school paper in small-town Mississippi. The ringleader, Jeff Durstewitz, impulsively dropped the letter into a mailbox, never suspecting that within a few days he'd receive an electrifying response. In the following flurry of letters, genteelly Southern Ruth and brash New Yorker Jeff explored their feelings about God, race, sex, and life -- and an enduring friendship was begun.
Over the next thirty years, this long-distance bond sustained Ruth and Jeff through love affairs and heartbreak, social change and disillusionment, divorce and the loss of a cherished friend. As their letters chart their passage from youth to middle age, their memoir captures not just the hopes of an era yearning for revolution and the soul of a country on the brink of change, but also the essence of being bright, young, and passionate. Sharp, funny, and true, here is a mirror for a generation -- both then and now.
"[A] small masterpiece ... a tell-all memoir by two nobodies that's as involving as any celebrity expose."
"The most honest, compelling book I've read about the 1960's generation."
-- Willie Morris
"Hilarious and poignant ... a love affair of letters ...a double treat of memoirs."
-- Buffalo News
"Superb ... Their chemistry of opposites is electric. It's often difficult to put Ruth and Jeff's narrative histories down for fear of stemming the flood tide of one's own past."
-- Planet Weekly, Jackson, Mississippi