Within the first year of publishing his first novel, She’s Come Undone, Author Wally Lamb received a letter from a 20-something male named David F. praising the book. The way he wrote the letter prompted Wally to write back and encourage him to pursue writing for his own career. Wally said he would like to meet him, but David wasn’t sure he could handle that type of encounter at the time. He’d been suffering from a mental health issue for cutting. They instead began a pen-pal type of relationship which continues to this day. About 15 years later, at a book reading for Wally’s third book, The Hour I First Believed, David Fitzpatrick, now the author of Sharp, introduced himself. He told Wally that he’d finally gotten the right therapy and psychotropic medications that allowed him to climb out of his serious mental illness.
What amazes me about this is how gracious Wally Lamb must be with others. I’m hooked on him already, and I haven’t even finished past page 23 yet. One thing I know is that “Undone” is going to be a fast read for me. The pace is outstanding and makes me want to devour it.
In his Introduction to the 20th Anniversary Edition, Wally presents us with the backstory of how Dolores, the main character, came to be, and how he developed her as a character. He also lets us in on how the process of publishing, and all that goes with that, can affect an author and those around him.
This book is, so far, a good read, and it’s so good, I don’t have to read the entire book to recommend it. But I’m not Oprah Winfrey, so if you go by that book club thing of hers, he made her list. I think he mentions in the introduction that She’s Come Undone was the third book on her list once she started the “Oprah’s Book Club”, and he was the first male on the list.
For me, I just love finding out how a true gem like this novel, even though it’s 20 years old, is still significant and new and refreshing as it was the day it was published. I love finding “new-to-me” reads.