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.
“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