The discovery of a forbidden box of letters sends author Selby McPhee on a fascinating and painful journey through her family’s history in the first half of the American twentieth century.
On the box’s lid is a provocative warning: “Personal letters of Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Fleming, Jr ~ to be destroyed unopened.”
Born late in the family story, the author opened the box, and now sets the letters in the context of contemporary cultural history of their era, exploring with readers her own questions about her parents’ struggle to succeed in the context of economic hardship and an intense, often troubled marriage.
What tripped them up in their pursuit of the promise America offered in the early 20th century? And what was all the intensity about? Was it love? Were they crazy? Or is that what love is?
Available in All other eBook formats.
Selby McPhee was a staff writer and editor at schools, universities, and other educational institutions including Tufts University and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), where she was marketing vice president. In addition to her administrative work, she was the editor of numerous institutional newsletters, magazines, and e-publications, and she served as chapter author of an NAIS book on school marketing.
As a freelance writer, McPhee has published articles in a variety of magazines and newspapers, including Vermont Life, HighFidelity/Musical America, Independent School, Burlington (VT) Free Press, and IB World (the International Baccalaureate magazine). While living in Vermont from 1970 to 1980, McPhee was innkeeper at a small ski lodge, manager of an attached condominium development, and producing director at the Stowe (VT) Playhouse.
Love Crazy, McPhee’s first book, began to germinate in 1984, when she found a box of letters, marked with the admonition “to be destroyed unopened,” in a closet at her parents’ house.
McPhee, a graduate of Vassar College, grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She lives with her husband in Maryland.