Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mysterious Letters

It came via the post and must be the biggest mystery ever to visit the small Irish village of Cushendall. One day this past April every household in the village – 467 in total – received a handwritten letter from Lenka Clayton or Michael Crowe. But no one knew who they were.

These unusual letters, like the ones above, caused quite a stir in the sleepy village. TV news footage shows residents scratching their heads as to why complete strangers would write to them and with such odd and differing messages.

Every letter is completely unique and most of them are posted on the authors’ project blog. They write the goal was that “these unsolicited letters would prompt neighbourly discussion, spreading across the town, promoting community curiosity.” Mission accomplished!

Some older residents were quite worried by the letters, while others thought it plain odd. But the project generated a huge amount of buzz, and praise, as it spread globally online. The handwritten letter is an intimate and rare gesture in this digital age of rapid communication. The project created much more than discussion among one community, and it certainly put Cushendall on the map. And apart from anything else, it shows the great power of mystery.

So what’s next for authors Lenka Clayton and Michael Crowe? Well, they plan to write letters to everyone in the entire world.