Om No One Writes Back
Communicationor the lack thereofis the subject of this sly update of the picaresque. No One Writes Back is the story of a young man who leaves home with only his blind dog, an MP3 player, and a book, traveling aimlessly for three years, from motel to motel, meeting people on the road. Rather than learn the names of his fellow travelersor invent nicknames for themhe assigns them numbers. Theres 239, for example, who once dreamed of being a poet, but who now only reads her poems to a friend in a coma; theres 109, who rides trains endlessly because of a broken heart; and 32, whos already decided to commit suicide. The narrator writes letters to these men and women in the hope that he can console them in their various miseries, as well as keep a record of his own experiences: A letter is like a journal entry for me, except that it gets sent to other people. No one writes back, of course, but that doesnt mean that there isnt some hope that one of them will, someday . . .