Letters from Max: A Poet, a Teacher, a Friendship

Cover of the book, Letters from Max: A Poet, a Teacher, a Friendship.

Written by: and

Published by: Milkweed Editions


4.33, based on 285 reviews.

A KIRKUS BEST BOOK OF 2018In 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 exchanges, 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.

Rating breakdown

4.33 out of 5 stars (285 ratings)
5 53% (150 ratings)
4 32% (91 ratings)
3 12% (35 ratings)
2 2% (7 ratings)
1 1% (2 ratings)

About Sarah Ruhl

Sarah Ruhl (born 1974) is an American playwright. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for a distinguished American playwright in mid-career.

Originally, she intended to be a poet. However, after she studied under Paula Vogel at Brown University (A.B., 1997; M.F.A., 2001), she was persuaded to switch to playwriting. Her first play was The Dog Play, written in 1995 for one of Vogel's classes. Her roots in poetr...
[Read more about Sarah Ruhl]

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