book cover of Write Letter to Billy

Write Letter to Billy

A novel by

A wonderful story of what family means, of the flesh-level pain of sibling rivalry, and the discovery of love. It is a fantastic and beautiful tapestry of some of the most imaginative and precise prose writing going on in America today. Toby Olson stands tall among the handful of writers I most admire and respect.-Richard Wiley

Write A Letter to Billy is a delectably complicated maze that kept me spellbound from start to finish. Only the most sophisticated of writers could manage to combine the seriousness of a quest for identity and meaning with the intensity of a thriller, not to mention an excursion into deep-sea diving and the resort life of southern California. Once again, Toby Olson has written a terrific novel full of peril and surprise, offering startling revelations and sudden expansions of the heart and mind."-Lynne Sharon Schwartz

United with a long-lost teenage daughter, a retired Navy underwater repair specialist investigates a mysterious list his father had written just before his death. Some of the items are crossed off, but one of the unfinished tasks haunts him: "Write letter to Billy." What had his father planned to tell him? What he learns changes his life forever.

Influenced by D.H. Lawrence, William Faulkner, and Charles Dickens, Toby Olson's pointed examination of memory and consciousness illustrates how the unraveling of external mystery leads to self discovery.

Toby Olson, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction, has published eight books of fiction and twenty-two books of poetry. His work has appeared in over two hundred newspapers, magazines, and anthologies. Olson's novels include At Sea, Dorit in Lesbos, Utah, and The Woman Who Escaped from Shame. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and North Truro, Massachusetts.

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Paperback Editions

October 2000 : USA Paperback

Title: Write Letter to Billy
Author(s): Toby Olson
ISBN: 1-56689-103-5 / 978-1-56689-103-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Coffee House Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU