I’m not going to do much explaining here largely because I am still too blown away to translate my feelings. In my inbox yesterday was a note with the subject line “Response To Review” that read as follows:
Dear Will Campbell . . .
I’ve just read you most interesting comments on your website, in which you remark lengthily — and delightfully — about my book, The Silent Sky. Thank you for an engrossing and very pleasurable read.
(I can only add, I wish you had scored with Mindy Fenton!)
Best regards . . .
Allan W. Eckert
I won’t go into the details here. All the background you can eat can be found at my February 2006 post that Eckert references in his note, headlined “Learning The Hard Way.” But in the meantime I can’t quite quantify what it’s like to have the author of one of the most important books (published in 1965) of my youth and my life just suddenly reach across the 25 years since I first read it and say hey.
But of course I wrote him back:
I do believe my eyes bugged out and I got chills when I realized I’d just gotten an email from the author of one of my favorite books ever. Thanks to the wonders of the internet I am as humbled here by your kind words as I was whenever I was in the presence of Mindy Fenton. Or at least pretty close.
And speaking of the wonders of the internet, long before the worldwide web came into being I spent years haunting public libraries for a copy of your book. I eventually found another in the library of the college I attended when I finally went back in the early 1990s to finish up my degree at 30 years of age. Then a few years ago I decided to see about getting a copy of my very own and while I can’t recall if it was facilitated by eBay or Amazon or Craigslist, I was eventually able to procur a paperback version that I display proudly in my bookcase.