Letters from Max

Nonfiction

Letters from Max

A Book of Friendship
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In 2012, Sarah Ruhl was a distinguished author and playwright, twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Max Ritvo, a student in her playwriting class at Yale University, was an exuberant, opinionated, and highly gifted poet. He was also in remission from pediatric cancer.

Over the next four years—in which Ritvo’s illness returned and his health declined, even as his productivity bloomed—the two exchanged letters that spark with urgency, humor, and the desire for connection. Reincarnation, books, the afterlife as an Amtrak quiet car, good soup: in Ruhl and Ritvo’s correspondence, all ideas are fair, nourishing game, shared and debated in a spirit of generosity and love. “We’ll always know one another forever, however long ever is,” Ritvo writes. “And that’s all I want—is to know you forever.”

Studded with poems and songs, Letters from Max is a deeply moving portrait of a friendship, and a shimmering exploration of love, art, mortality, and the afterlife.

ISBN:
978-1-57131-369-0
Publish Date: 
09/11/2018
Pages: 
240
Size: 
5.5 × 8.5 × 1 in
Weight: 
18 oz
Author

Max Ritvo (1990-2016) wrote Four Reincarnations in New York and Los Angeles over the course of a long battle with cancer. Ritvo's poetry has appeared in the New Yorker, Poetry, Boston Review, and as a Poem-a-Day for Poets.org. His prose and interviews have appeared in publications such as Lit Hub, Huffington Post, and the Los Angeles Review of Books

Author

Sarah Ruhl’s plays include In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (Pulitzer Prize finalist, Tony Award nominee), and The Clean House (Pulitzer Prize finalist, winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize), among many others. She is recipient of the MacArthur “genius” grant, and of, most recently, the 2016 Steinberg Prize. She is currently on the faculty of the Yale School of Drama and lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Praise and Prizes

Blog Post

Milkweed Staff – 02/15/2018

Less than two years ago, Max Ritvo came into the Milkweed family like a ball of fire. We’re thrilled to...