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Excerpt of JK Rowling's Foreword for "Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self"

J.K. Rowling
Posted by: Stephanie_J
October 19, 2011, 10:35 PM

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.

Finally, 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.

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134 Points

I totally want to read this book!

Posted by HermioneGranger2 on October 21, 2011, 04:12 PM report to moderator
1317 Points

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.

Posted by hewy on October 23, 2011, 06:38 PM report to moderator
3455 Points

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!!!

Posted by Catherine ( *SQUEE!*) on October 23, 2011, 07:25 PM report to moderator
1985 Points

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!

Posted by jhangelgurl (ITC!) on October 24, 2011, 06:41 PM report to moderator
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