In February 1989, science fiction writer Piers Anthony, author of the Xanth series, received a moving letter. It came from a woman whose daughter, Jenny, was in a coma as a result of severe injuries caused by a drunk driver. She asked Anthony to write to Jenny, an avid fan of his, in the hope that a letter from him would evoke some response. Her request resulted in a series of warm, supportive, and humorous letters written weekly from Anthony to Jenny. These were read to the patient by her mother.
The original letters Anthony wrote between February 1989 and 1990, reproduced here along with Anthony's comments, reveal the author's wit, humanism, and social conscience. Jenny has come out of her coma, but is still confined to a wheelchair. Anthony also named a character in his next Xanth novel after Jenny, whose limited but definite physical responses to his letters indicated how important they were to her.