Excerpt of JK Rowling’s Foreword for “Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self”
Oct 19, 2011
In addition to the foreword, Ms. Rowling has also contributed a letter of her own along to her past self along with other notable actors, musicians, writers and athletes. Read the foreword below:
This is an extraordinary little book, based on a simple but wonderful
idea: What would you say to yourself if you came face-to-face with the
sixteen-year-old you? One of the many things that delighted and touched
me as I read the letters that follow is the commonality of our human
experience. Nearly everyone who wrote, whether their letter is jolly or
poignant, seems to have looked back on their younger selves with
compassion, remembering how vulnerable and dangerous an age sixteen is,
for all the fun and freedom it is supposed to entail.
The overwhelming message of this body of
letters seems to be: Be yourself. Be easier on yourself. Become
yourself, as fully as possible.
isolate those life lessons I could pass back to the girl I used to be
was a truly illuminating exercise. It made me look at my
seventeen-year-old daughter and remember, in a more powerful way than
ever before, just how raw and vivid life is for her, in a way that it
has been only intermittently for me as an adult. I would not go back to
sixteen for anything you could give me, and yet I still recognize that
she has something I have lost along the way”something I had to lose, to
You might have picked up this book
out of interest in some of the fascinating people who have contributed. I
don’t think you will be disappointed. The great thing about these
letters is that they are extraordinarily revealing, whether short, long,
full of practical advice or metaphysical musings.
Whatever your motives in buying this book, thank you. One dollar a copy will benefit Doctors Without Borders.
let me urge you to use the blank pages at the end of the book to write
your own letter to yourself, aged sixteen. I think you’ll find it just
as thought-provoking and worthwhile as we all did.
“Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self” will be released on Oct. 25, 2011.