Your own private book event

The letter below, written by Chuck Palahniuk in response to a piece of mail from fan Mike Kitchen, is just one of thousands the Fight Club scribe sent at the end of 2006 after opening the floodgates via his official website. Palahniuk has long been known to reply to as much mail as possible, but in October of 2006 decided to dedicate months to doing just that, following a call for letters on his site. Canadian artist Mike Kitchen wrote to the author and received the following personal reply, along with a package full of miscellanea which can be seen here.

Note: Mike had ended his letter by telling of the time he discovered a box of his late grandfather’s writings, alongside related rejection letters from publishers. He then mentioned publishing them himself as a tribute. That letter can be read here.

Transcript follows. 


February 10, 2007
Donadio & Olson, Inc
121 W. 27th St. Suite 704
New York, N.Y. 10001

Mike Kitchen

Dear Mike,

Well, tell your dead grandpa the old German (Goethe) saying: “The longer you look, the more stars you see…” I prefer that to going crazy. It’s the same with meditation, how you can find the entire world in a single object or activity. Once you commit your life to a passion, you find that things open up. Still, it seems like a paradox. Most people never fully commit to their art, out of fear of losing options. But commitment brings more options than you’d ever lose.

This past summer, I recorded the collection of stories enclosed in this box. These are the best I’ve read on book tours since “Fight Club” in 1996 – the tour where no more than two people attended each of my book events, a very-humbling tour. Listen with care because the dreaded “Guts” story is here, but so is a bonus: a new, unpublished story, “Cold Calling.” Even for a writer, words get… boring. Instead, I wanted to send you smells and sounds and flavors. If we never meet in person, please consider this box as your own private book event. Something nicer than a quick “hello” and handshake in Berkeley.

I wonder at what point your grandfather stopped writing or discussing his writing. What happened. How did it stop serving him? Please, make sure your art is always serving you, that way you’ll never stop. And thanks for the “Spy Guy” panels!

I’ll Shut Up Now,


Chuck Palahniuk

Honor Your Grandfather – But Express Yourself!!