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Writing as Therapy
Louise DeSalvo's letter to Robert Cormier
In this friendly, typed letter from Louise DeSalvo of Teaneck, NJ dated July 28, 1998, to Robert Cormier, the writer talks about her family in terms that imply that Cormier and she have enjoyed acquaintance for some years. She seeks his permission to include a quote from a letter in her then-forthcoming book, Writing as a Way of Healing. According to the letter, enclosures include a table of contents and the chapter manuscript in which Cormier is discussed. The letter shows hand corrections to typos as well as the use of textured stationery.
"Writing Pain, Writing Loss: Qualities of a Healing Narrative"
These 32 pages of manuscript writings of Louise DeSalvo, comprise the table of contents to her book, Writing as a Way of Healing, and chapter 4, "Writing Pain, Writing Loss" in which her correspondence with Robert Cormier is referenced, and for which she sought and received his permission to include. The first few pages feature prominently her interactions with Cormier and his own acknowledgment that writing did seem therapeutic when he wrote his first novel Now and at the Hour near the time of his father's death. She also discusses her creative writing students and characterizes what is a healing narrative after explicating the work of thinkers including Elaine Scarry and Sigmund Freud.
Robert Cormier's Response to Louise DeSalvo
Robert Cormier's warm response in the form of a two-page typed letter to Louise DeSalvo, dated August 9, 1998, gives her the permission she sought from him in her original letter of July 28, 1998. He responds with admiration for the scholarship exhibited by her in the chapter she sent him. In this letter, Cormier refers to his and his wife Connie's June-July-August summer home: a house on a "pond" about a half-hour from Leominster. He describes the idyllic sounds of the place and Connie's delight in it.
James Swift writes "Healing Words: Creative Writing Programs as Therapy for Kids in Detention" for Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, exploring the benefits of writing.
Jim Pollard writes "As Easy as ABC" for The Guardian, reporting on the health benefits of writing.