Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Letters, Notes, and Notebooks Symbol Analysis

Letters, Notes, and Notebooks Symbol Icon
Letters and writing are important aspects of both the novel’s content and its structure. The sections of the novel that Grandpa narrates are letters to his son. Grandma writes letters to Oskar. The letters that Grandpa writes also appear in the novel: Oskar finds empty envelopes of these letters in Grandma’s apartment, and Grandpa brings the letters to bury in Dad’s empty coffin. The one letter of Grandpa’s that Dad read is circled in red pen: the edits are both grammatical mistakes and emotional missteps (like the phrase “I love you,” which Oskar’s Dad treats like a factual error). William Black’s father also writes letters to others, but unlike Grandpa’s letters, William Black’s father’s letters reach their intended recipients. Oskar also writes letters to celebrities and receives responses from several; some are form letters, some are individualized, and he eventually receives a personalized response from Stephen Hawking. Grandpa, further, only “speaks” through written notes, since he has lost his ability to talk. These blank books have collected around the apartment like a fossil record: all of his words, in a sense, are recorded just like Dad’s last words on the answering machine. Letters and written words seem, at first, to be a more permanent way of preserving speech, but they also provide opportunities for missed connections. Grandpa’s letters were never read by the people to whom he wrote: Anna’s child, his unborn son, died with Anna in the Dresden firebombing, and Dad didn’t get to see most of Grandpa’s letters to him before Dad died.

Letters, Notes, and Notebooks Quotes in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

The Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close quotes below all refer to the symbol of Letters, Notes, and Notebooks. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Mariner Books edition of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close published in 2006.
Chapter 2 Quotes

I haven’t always been silent, I used to talk and talk and talk and talk, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut, the silence overtook me like a cancer.

Related Characters: Grandpa (speaker)
Related Symbols: Letters, Notes, and Notebooks
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Chapter 6 Quotes

We took the blueprint of our apartment from the hallway closet and taped it to the inside of the front door, with an orange and a green marker we separated Something from Nothing. “This is Something,” we decided. “This is Nothing.” “Something.” “Nothing.” “Something.” “Nothing.” “Nothing.” “Nothing.” Everything was forever fixed, there would only be peace and happiness, it wasn’t until last night, our last night together, that the inevitable question finally arose, I told her, “Something,” by covering her face with my hands and then lifting them like a marriage veil. “We must be.” But I knew, in the most protected part of my heart, the truth.

Related Characters: Grandpa (speaker), Grandma (speaker)
Related Symbols: Letters, Notes, and Notebooks
Page Number: 111
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

I have so much to tell you, the problem isn’t that I’m running out of time, I’m running out of room, this book is filling up, there couldn’t be enough pages, I looked around the apartment this morning for one last time and there was writing everywhere, filling the walls and mirrors, I’d rolled up the rugs so I could write on the floor, I’d written on the walls and around the bottles of wine we were given but never drank, I wear only short sleeves, even when it’s cold, because my arms are books, too. But there’s too much to express. I’m sorry.

Related Characters: Grandpa (speaker), Grandma
Related Symbols: Letters, Notes, and Notebooks
Page Number: 132
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 7 Quotes

But still, it gave me heavy, heavy boots. Dad wasn’t a Great Man, not like Winston Churchill, whoever he was. Dad was just someone who ran a family jewelry business. Just an ordinary dad. But I wished so much, then, that he had been Great. I wished he’d been famous, famous like a movie star, which is what he deserved. I wished Mr. Black had written about him, and risked his life to tell the world about him, and had reminders of him around his apartment.

Related Characters: Oskar Schell (speaker), Dad, Mr. Black
Related Symbols: Letters, Notes, and Notebooks
Page Number: 159
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla

Chapter 8 Quotes

I went to the guest room and pretended to write. I hit the space bar again and again and again. My life story was spaces.

Related Characters: Grandma (speaker)
Related Symbols: Letters, Notes, and Notebooks
Page Number: 176
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 14 Quotes

There won’t be enough pages in this book for me to tell you what I need to tell you, I could write smaller, I could slice the pages down their edges to make two pages, I could write over my own writing, but then what?

Related Characters: Grandpa (speaker), Dad
Related Symbols: Letters, Notes, and Notebooks
Page Number: 276
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 15 Quotes

OSKAR SCHELL: SON

Related Characters: Oskar Schell (speaker), Mr. Black
Related Symbols: Letters, Notes, and Notebooks
Page Number: 286
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 16 Quotes

Here is the point of everything I have been trying to tell you, Oskar.
It’s always necessary.
I love you,
Grandma

Related Characters: Grandma (speaker), Oskar Schell
Related Symbols: Letters, Notes, and Notebooks
Page Number: 314
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Get the entire Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close LitChart as a printable PDF.
Extremely loud and incredibly close.pdf.medium

Letters, Notes, and Notebooks Symbol Timeline in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

The timeline below shows where the symbol Letters, Notes, and Notebooks appears in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1, “What The?”
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
Oskar then begins to describe the letters he began to write after “the worst day” (that is, September 11, 2001). Oskar writes... (full context)
Chapter 2, “Why I’m Not Where You Are (5/21/63)”
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...but the narrator is Oskar’s Grandpa.) The chapter is written in the form of a letter that begins, “To my unborn child.” The narrator tells the reader about losing his ability... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...the smallest I’ve got,” “I’m not sure, but it’s late,” or “Ha ha ha!”. The letter resumes after a few of these blank pages, and Grandpa describes the hundreds of stacks... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...rather, the woman speaks, and Grandpa shrugs and responds through gestures and some brief written notes. (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
The woman (Grandma) asks the writer of the letter (Grandpa) why he doesn’t speak, and the narrator writes, “I don’t speak. I’m so sorry.”... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
Grandpa flips back to several phrases in the daybook–– “Ha ha ha!” and “I’m sorry, this is the smallest I’ve got” and “I’m not... (full context)
Chapter 3, “Googolplex”
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
When Oskar returns home, Stan, the doorman, gives him mail: a form letter from Ringo Starr with a signed T-shirt. (The T-shirt isn’t white, though, so Oskar can’t... (full context)
Puzzles and Cleverness Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...in New York with the name “Black,” living at 216 different addresses. He writes a letter to his French teacher, pretending to be from Mom, to say that Oskar will no... (full context)
Chapter 4, “My Feelings”
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
Another narrator speaks in this chapter, which is also in the form of a letter; it’s dated “12 September 2003” and addressed “Dear Oskar.” The writer of the letter is... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
The writer (Grandma) says that she asks everyone she knows to write her a letter: her father, an inmate in the penitentiary, her piano teacher, her friend Mary, her grandmother.... (full context)
Chapter 6, “Why I’m Not Where You Are (5/21/63)”
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
This letter has the same date as the letter from Chapter 2, and it’s by the same... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
There’s a piece of paper from Grandpa’s daybook inserted—“Do you know what time it is?—and the narration returns to the present. He thinks... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
After another piece of paper from Grandpa’s daybook that reads “Do you know what time it is?”, the narrator reminisces about the first... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
There is another sheet from Grandpa’s daybook that reads “Do you know what time it is?”, and the narration returns to the... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...address the envelope to “My Unborn Son.” There are a few more pages from the daybook with one sentence apiece on them, ending with, “You’re going to catch a cold.” (full context)
Chapter 7, Heavier Boots
Puzzles and Cleverness Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...she pays for a cab to take him home, where he has received a thank-you note from the American Diabetes Foundation. (full context)
Chapter 8, “My Feelings”
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
The narrator of this chapter is Grandma, writing a letter to Oskar from the airport (continued from the previous “My Feelings” chapter, Chapter 4). They... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...a hole inside her and realizes that she needs a child. She writes in Grandpa’s daybook to tell him that she is pregnant, which means that she has broken the rule... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...Grandpa makes a few small jokes. But then he starts to cry, which makes the daybook wet with his tears. Grandma says that she’s not angry with him. When she asks... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...had started to write back to the man in the Turkish labor camp, but the letter lay unfinished on her desk. (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
Grandpa keeps pointing at “Broken and confused” and “Nothing” in the daybook and Grandma points at “Don’t cry” and “Something.” Finally, she convinces him to return home.... (full context)
Chapter 9, “Happiness, Happiness”
Puzzles and Cleverness Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...that week, Jimmy continues to tease Oskar by making really raunchy jokes. Oskar gets a letter from the cab driver who’d driven him to Coney Island, thanking him for sending the... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Puzzles and Cleverness Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...knows about the key. Oskar asks Alice if he can kiss her. Oskar receives a letter from Gary Franklin, a researcher, telling him to send his resume to apply for a... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Puzzles and Cleverness Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...Oskar doesn’t remember having told the man his name. At home, he has received a letter from Jane Goodall. Oskar puts a Band-Aid on the part of his chest that the... (full context)
Chapter 10, “Why I’m Not Where You Are (4/12/78)”
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Puzzles and Cleverness Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
This letter, by Oskar’s Grandpa, has red pen circles around many words and phrases, as though someone... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...the spot where Anna and Grandma’s father’s shed used to stand. Grandpa has written a letter to his son every day, he writes. He recalls the homes he used to imagine... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...remembers that after Anna had told him she was pregnant, her father gave Grandpa a letter from Simon Goldberg, who had been sent to a concentration camp. The letter says that... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
Grandpa writes that he knows that he will not be able to send the letter he has just written, no matter how hard he tries. He signs it, “I love... (full context)
Chapter 12, “My Feelings”
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...That night, Oskar walks Grandma to her front door, and the doorman gives her a letter that a person had just left for her. Grandma asks Oskar to read the letter,... (full context)
Chapter 13, “Alive and Alone”
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Puzzles and Cleverness Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...and finds a drawer filled with envelopes organized chronologically and mailed from Dresden. There’s a letter from every day from May 31, 1963 to “the worst day” (that is, September 11,... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Puzzles and Cleverness Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...Oskar doesn’t know it yet) opens the guest room door. The man brings out a notebook and writes on the first page, “I don’t speak.” When Oskar asks who he is,... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Puzzles and Cleverness Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...Black, a barista, and Ray Black, who is behind bars, so Oskar writes him a letter. (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Puzzles and Cleverness Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...flutter, but no sound comes out; he points to the phrase “I’m sorry” in his daybook. Oskar takes a photograph of Grandpa’s hands with Grandpa’s camera (Oskar knows that the camera... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
Grandpa writes Oskar a note asking Oskar not to tell Grandma that they’d met. Grandpa also writes that if Oskar... (full context)
Chapter 14, “Why I’m Not Where You Are (9/11/03)”
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
The chapter opens with a few pages from Grandpa’s daybook, which are phrases he had written to Oskar in the previous chapter: “I don’t speak,... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...his arrival in New York, a few days after September 11, 2001. Grandpa gives a note to Grandma’s doorman, and she stands with her palms against the window that night. He... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...writes about getting off the plane soon after September 11, 2001. He writes in his daybook to the customs agent that he is there “to mourn,” then crosses out “mourn” and... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Puzzles and Cleverness Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...hangs up. Grandpa tries spelling out words by pressing the numbers that correspond with each letter (love is “5, 6, 8, 3” for example). He then gives about two and a... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
Grandma lets Grandpa live in the guest room. He finds his daybooks from before he had left: they are in the body of the grandfather clock. He... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...about Dad—who is, she says, “Not our son, my son.” Grandma gave Dad the only letter that Grandpa had ever sent and tells Grandpa that Dad had been obsessed with it.... (full context)
Chapter 15, “A Simple Solution to an Impossible Problem”
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Puzzles and Cleverness Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...sale. His dad, he said, had spent the last two months of his life writing letters to all his friends and acquaintances to say his goodbyes. (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Puzzles and Cleverness Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
William goes through his father’s Rolodex and talks to everyone about the letters that his father had sent to each of them: all the letters were different and... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Puzzles and Cleverness Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
Grandpa gives Oskar a letter. It’s from Stephen Hawking, who thanks Oskar for all the letters that he’s sent over... (full context)
Chapter 16, “My Feelings”
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
Grandma puts the typewriter and paper into a suitcase. She writes a note, tapes it to the window, and takes a cab to follow Grandpa to the international... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...says that last night, he and Oskar dug up Dad’s grave, and Grandpa buried the letters he wrote, along with the key to Grandma’s apartment, in the grave. (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
Grandma writes that she is typing this very letter sitting across from Grandpa at a table at the airport. When she is typing the... (full context)
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...in the same bed every night. But, writes Grandma, it’s always necessary. She ends the letter by telling Oskar that she loves him. (full context)
Chapter 17, “Beautiful and True”
Mortality and the Purpose of Life Theme Icon
Puzzles and Cleverness Theme Icon
Trauma and Guilt Theme Icon
Superstition and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...they will fill it, but he can’t decide with what. Grandpa brings suitcases filled with letters to his unborn son to put into the coffin. (full context)