Excerpt of JK Rowling’s Foreword for “Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self”


Oct 19, 2011

Posted by John Admin

An excerpt of author JK Rowling’s foreword to the upcoming book “Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self” by Joseph Galliano has been published in USA Today.

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.

Attempting to
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
stay sane.

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.

19 Responses to Excerpt of JK Rowling’s Foreword for “Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self”

Avatar ImageGene L. says: "Be easier on yourself. Become yourself, as fully as possible." Appreciation to JK Rowling, another great lesson for all of us.Avatar ImageFleur-de- Lily says: That is a great lesson for all of us!Avatar Imagemencia says: I agree with Gene *ROAR* 100%Avatar ImageMad But Happy says: Well, that's another book I'm asking for this Christmas!Avatar Imagewandmastercalum says: @Fleur-de- Lily okay you said you would stop copying and pasting people's comments, which you have done but now you're taking parts of their comments, which is just as annoying. Please stop because it's a little silly tbh.Avatar Imagewandmastercalum says: Anyway I probably won't be getting this book (not just because I'm not even sixteen yet :D) but I'd probably only be interested in the foreword, which I've just read here :DAvatar ImageG.Weasley says: I'm buying that book.Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: I would say "Don't worry, it all works out. You are stronger than you know. Always trust your instincts & your inner voice... & never build walls around your heart.Avatar Imagekbicprez says: I love the idea of this book! JKR's foreword is very moving. I agree with her about going back to sixteen - NO WAY. GB Shaw's quote "youth is wasted on the young" is so true. Why couldn't I have known what I know now when I was 16? Ah, life!Avatar ImageWant to be a Weasley says: @Won_Two - I really like what you wrote! It is so hard at that age, now that I look back to those years and realize the things that I thought were so important, really didn't matter at all. I wish I had enjoyed the years of "no worries" more and not been so eager to grow up!Avatar Imageharrypotter4258 says: gonna get thisAvatar Imagekyrstalkris says: Interesting! I would love to have that! It'll probably come in handy when I'm sixteen! xDDAvatar ImageEeyore says: I really like what she had to say and I will definitely buy the book. I also agree with her that I wouldn't go back to being 16 for anything in the world. And yet, I'm not entirely unhappy with the person I was at 16, and there have been times in my life that I wished I had kept a little more of my 16 year old self as part of my adult self.Avatar ImageLemonFaerie says: Lovely and enlightening as always. And I agree, I would never go back to 16, even though I enjoyed it at the time (mostly.) Things that came after were far too hard to want to repeat those years. I would tell the 16-year-old-me: value yourself more and don't let other people's thoughts, opinions, styles, prejudices or desires shape you or your life, not to settle, to be true to the real you (once you figure the real you out), and to be nicer to yourself, because you're not really so awful. Avatar Imagesiena says: @Won_Two I totally agree - especially with the last sentence ... it is so important to keep one's heart open ... otherwise life passes you by all too quickly ... look at what Snape did to himself ... he stands as a kind of warning against burying myself inside myself.Avatar ImageHermioneGranger2 says: I totally want to read this book!Avatar Imagehewy says: Would never go back to being 16 as those were not fun years. Wish I had not listened to my father who said "girls only go to college to find a husband." What a crock that was. Would definately tell myself not to listen anyone but me and to study harder.Avatar ImageCatherine says: totally getting this book! i want to read Jo's letter!! I'm still sixteen...its been a tough, interesting year...some really great parts, some horribly bad. its all apart of the experience of life; but i have to admit i cant wait to be 17 and start moving on!!!Avatar Imagejhangelgurl says: Very thought provoking as always J.K. Being 25 in less than a month if only I could tell myself to be strong at 16 and not let others get to you and it's ok that your not like everyone else..not being normal is ok. Oh if only I enjoyed the easy life back then!

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