Jackie Hooper's 'The Things You Would Have Said' is a collection of letters to people (or pets) who are not longer part of the writers' lives.
Jackie Hooper's 'The Things You Would Have Said' is a collection of letters to people (or pets) who are not longer part of the writers' lives.That's the idea behind Jackie Hooper's new book, The Things You Would Have Said: The Chance to Say What You Always Wanted Them to Know (Hudson Street Press, $21.95).In March 2009, Hooper was vacationing in Hawaii when she heard that actress Natasha Richardson had died from a head injury she sustained while skiing. Haunted by the tragedy, Hooper decided to ask strangers to write letters about things they had left unsaid. The letters are hilarious, heartbreaking and uplifting. Some examples:•Ruth, 76, writes to thank her nanny Mitzi for "restoring my faith in humanity." After Kristallnacht, Mitzi took Ruth, who is Jewish, to a Viennese amusement park on her 7th birthday before Ruth's family escaped to the USA.•Dave, 51, writes to his mother, who dropped him off at the babysitter 46 years ago and never returned. He notes that "for some reason, I just don't trust the ladies." •"Your stepdaughter," age 18, tells her stepmother that "you have really been the evil stepmother, like in the fairy tales."•Julia, 9, writes to Lou Lou, "I hope you are having a good life in Kitty Heaven."For more information about reprints & permissions, visit our FAQ's. To report corrections and clarifications, contact Standards Editor Brent Jones. For publication consideration in the newspaper, send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include name, phone number, city and state for verification. To view our corrections, go to corrections.usatoday.com.