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Miss Lonelyhearts
     

Miss Lonelyhearts

2.0 1
by (Nathanael West
 

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The Miss Lonelyhearts of The New York Post-Dispatch (Are-you-in-trouble?
--Do-you-need-advice?--Write-to-Miss-Lonelyhearts-and-she-will-help-you)
sat at his desk and stared at a piece of white cardboard. On it a prayer
had been printed by Shrike, the feature editor.

"Soul of Miss L, glorify me.
Body of Miss L, nourish me
Blood of Miss L,

Overview

The Miss Lonelyhearts of The New York Post-Dispatch (Are-you-in-trouble?
--Do-you-need-advice?--Write-to-Miss-Lonelyhearts-and-she-will-help-you)
sat at his desk and stared at a piece of white cardboard. On it a prayer
had been printed by Shrike, the feature editor.

"Soul of Miss L, glorify me.
Body of Miss L, nourish me
Blood of Miss L, intoxicate me.
Tears of Miss L, wash me.
Oh good Miss L, excuse my plea,
And hide me in your heart,
And defend me from mine enemies.
Help me, Miss L, help me, help me.
In saecula saeculorum. Amen."

Although the deadline was less than a quarter of an hour away, he was
still working on his leader. He had gone as far as: "Life is worth while,
for it is full of dreams and peace, gentleness and ecstasy, and faith
that burns like a clear white flame on a grim dark altar." But he found
it impossible to continue. The letters were no longer funny. He could not
go on finding the same joke funny thirty times a day for months on end.
And on most days he received more than thirty letters, all of them alike,
stamped from the dough of suffering with a heart-shaped cookie knife.

On his desk were piled those he had received this morning. He started
through them again, searching for some clue to a sincere answer.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts--

I am in such pain I dont know what to do sometimes I think I will kill
myself my kidneys hurt so much. My husband thinks no woman can be a good
catholic and not have children irregardless of the pain. I was married
honorable from our church but I never knew what married life meant as I
never was told about man and wife. My grandmother never told me and she
was the only mother I had but made a big mistake by not telling me as it
dont pay to be innocent and is only a big disappointment. I have 7 children
in 12 yrs and ever since the last 2 I have been so sick. I was operated
on twice and my husband promised no more children on the doctors advice
as he said I might die but when I got back from the hospital he broke his
promise and now I am going to have a baby and I dont think I can stand it
my kidneys hurt so much. I am so sick and scared because I cant have an
abortion on account of being a catholic and my husband so religious. I
cry all the time it hurts so much and I dont know what to do.

Yours respectfully,

Sick-of-it-all

Miss Lonelyhearts threw the letter into an open drawer and lit a
cigarette.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts--

I am sixteen years old now and I dont know what to do and would
appreciate it if you could tell me what to do. When I was a little girl
it was not so bad because I got used to the kids on the block makeing fun
of me, but now I would like to have boy friends like the other girls and
go out on Saturday nites, but no boy will take me because I was born
without a nose--although I am a good dancer and have a nice shape and my
father buys me pretty clothes.

I sit and look at myself all day and cry. I have a big hole in the middle
of my face that scares people even myself so I cant blame the boys for
not wanting to take me out. My mother loves me, but she crys terrible
when she looks at me.

What did I do to deserve such a terrible bad fate? Even if I did do some
bad things I didnt do any before I was a year old and I was born this
way. I asked Papa and he says he doesnt know, but that maybe I did
something in the other world before I was born or that maybe I was being
punished for his sins. I dont believe that because he is a very nice man.
Ought I commit suicide?

Sincerely yours,

Desperate

The cigarette was imperfect and refused to draw. Miss Lonelyhearts took
it out of his mouth and stared at it furiously. He fought himself quiet,
then lit another one.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940013740594
Publisher:
WDS Publishing
Publication date:
01/06/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
258,770
File size:
63 KB

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Miss Lonelyhearts 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard to read the text due to spacing and typing errors. The story itself is bleak, blunt and provocative all at once. A case study in male psychology, though the cover suggests otherwise.