Grace Porter is reeling from grief after her partner of seven years unexpectedly leaves. Amidst her heartache, the thirty-year-old library tech is tasked with reading newly discovered letters that Amelia Earhart wrote to her lover, Gene Vidal. She becomes captivated by the famous pilot who disappeared in 1937. Letter by letter, Grace understands more about Amelia while piecing her own life back together.
When Grace discovers she is pregnant, her life becomes more intertwined with the aviation hero and she begins to write her own letters to Amelia. While navigating her third trimester—amidst new conspiracy theories about Amelia’s mysterious disappearance, the search for her remains, and the impending publication of her private letters—Grace goes on a pilgrimage of her own.
Underscoring the power of reading and writing letters for self-discovery, Letters to Amelia is, above all, a story of the essential need for connection—and our universal ability to find hope in the face of fear.
Praise for Letters to Amelia:
“A tender portrait of heartbreak and a thoughtful ode to new motherhood. Letters to Amelia is an endorsement of finding our own ways to heal, and a celebration of that big, messy, wonderful journey of coming into one’s own. Charming and beautifully rendered, this is a big-hearted hopeful novel, full of life and love.” —Stacey May Fowles, author of Baseball Life Advice: Loving the Game that Saved Me
“When we think of Amelia Earhart, we think enigmatic adventurer and feminist pioneer—and, of course, of her mysterious disappearance. But in Letters to Amelia, we meet a different Amelia Earhart, as seen through the eyes of Grace, the novel’s protagonist, a young library tech tasked with reading her letters: an Amelia who is funny, charming, joyful, sad, and most of all, full of life. Zier-Vogel writes with uncanny empathy about heartbreak, friendship, motherhood, and the common threads that connect women across time, geography, and even between earth and sky. Letters to Amelia is a gorgeous, big-hearted debut that will make you feel like you are flying, and Zier-Vogel is a writer whose career is about to soar.” —Amy Jones, author of Every Little Piece of Me
“Brimming over with Lindsay Zier-Vogel’s obvious love for the story of Amelia Earhart, Letters to Amelia is a wonderful novel about flight and passion, about love-letters and reaching out; a novel about how we never know quite what’s coming next, but still keep launching ourselves into the blue tomorrow.” —Jon McGregor, Booker Prize longlisted author of Reservoir 13
“Letters to Amelia invites us to hold our heroines close and to take heart – it is gentle and joyous, full of tenderness, alive and sturdy with hope.” —Anne Michaels, author of Fugitive Pieces and The Winter Vault
Most Anticipated: Our 2021 Fall Fiction Preview —49th Shelf
65 Canadian works of fiction to watch for in fall 2021 —CBC Books
10 unforgettable new books you should read this September —Sean Loughran, Daily Hive
How a fascination with Amelia Earhart and a love for letter writing inspired Letters to Amelia —She Does the City
“An understated literary work with a historical underpinning, Letters to Amelia celebrates singular desires and pays homage to intimacy in the face of social scrutiny.” —Mari Carlson, Foreword Reviews
‘[A] multi-dimensional account of the life of a woman who remains not only a feminist icon but a figure of undefined mystique. I’m sure Amelia herself would be pleased.” —Heidi Greco, The Miramichi Reader
“Letters to Amelia made for a charming read… This was an absolutely lovely, lighthearted, and beautifully written story.” —Sean Loughran, Avocado Diaries
“Lindsay Zier-Vogel’s imagined lovers’ correspondence connects the real Earhart not only to a broken-hearted library tech but also to us and our landscape, bringing to life this singular woman’s brave, soaring spirit.” —Nancy Wigston, Toronto Star
“This could be the surprise debut novel of the year.” —Susan G. Cole, NOW Magazine
Test Kitchen: Little Red Bus —All Lit Up
Alumna Lindsay Zier-Vogel’s debut novel combines the art and love of letter writing, U of T and Amelia Earhart —University of Toronto Faculty of Arts and Science News
Reading List: 6 books by women to pick up this fall —Stir Vancouver
November 2021 Writer in Residence Lindsay Zier-Vogel Creates an Unforgettable Debut Inspired by the Story of Amelia Earhart —Open Book
Letters to Amelia reviewed by Pat St. Germain for Postmedia and syndicated in the Vancouver Sun, Montreal Gazette, Regina Leader Post, Windsor Star, Saskatoon Star Phoenix, and Edmonton Journal!
On the Line with Lindsay Zier-Vogel —Joseph Planta, The Commentary
2021: Books of the Year —49th Shelf
Q & A with Lindsay Zier-Vogel, Author of Letters to Amelia —Ann Douglas blog
Between the Pillars, Lindsay Zier-Vogel and Letters to Amelia —Fisher Library
Write for Joy with Guest: Lindsay Zier-Vogel —Eden Boudreau, Lonely Writer’s Podcast
A Language Tangle —The Quarantine Review Podcast
“Zier-Vogel spins an engaging story full of thoughtfully drawn characters and lively dialogue…Letters to Amelia is a wonderfully readable book, and the only reason you’ll want to put it down is so that you can pick up your phone to do your own Amelia Earhart research.” —Anne Thériault, Quill & Quire
“This book is the perfect read to combat the lockdown blues and a reminder to find your passion, no matter your circumstances.” —Dylan Curran, Cloudlake Literary
12 or 20 (second series) questions with Lindsay Zier-Vogel —rob mclennan’s blog
“Zier-Vogel’s writing transcends the boundaries of time while remaining firmly rooted in the Canadian cultural landscape.” —Room Magazine
The Lonely Writer Podcast, hosted by Eden Boudreau: Season 1, Episode 4, “Write for Joy,” with Guest Lindsay Zier-Vogel, author of Letters to Amelia —Listen on Apple Podcasts, Audible, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts.
“The novel’s epistolary form is a strong stylistic device…. That the letters are meant not for Amelia but for Grace is a technique that builds the structure of the story, one letter at a time, with deeply authentic voices.” —Claudette Bouman, The Puritan
“Zier-Vogel refigures intimacy by displacing it from romantic relationships and situating it in the friendships women share with each other. As Grace grows closer to Earhart through her letters, she also begins to rely on her friends for both moral and practical support. The idea of love is indeed reclaimed in Zier-Vogel’s novel, most notably when Grace reads one of Amelia’s letters that says, ‘She was my first great love. Don’t laugh, she really was’. The ‘she’ in this case is Amelia’s aircraft, supporting the idea that women can define what intimacy means to them.” —Lillian Liao, Canadian Literature
Lindsay Zier-Vogel is a Toronto-based writer, arts educator and the creator of the internationally acclaimed Love Lettering Project. After studying contemporary dance, she received her MA in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. Her writing has been widely published in Canada and the U.K. Since 2001, she has been teaching creative writing workshops in schools and communities. Her hand-bound books are housed in the permanent collection at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library in Toronto. As the creator of the Love Lettering Project, Lindsay has asked people all over the world to write love letters to their communities and hide them for strangers to find, spreading place-based love. Lindsay also writes children’s books. Because of The Love Lettering Project, CBC Radio has deemed Lindsay a “national treasure.” Letters to Amelia is her first book.