Icons & Inspiration: To HMH With Love - Dispatches From Vacationing Authors and Editors

Summer is the time for travel: school’s out, temperatures are heating up, beach towels and chairs are ready to go, and the open road beckons. We leave friends and colleagues behind, but the urge to share stories from our travels is strong. Nowadays we upload photos to Instagram or humblebrag on Twitter, but just a few decades ago we would have sent postcards home instead. Hidden in the HMH archives are several such dispatches sent by HMH authors and employees.

Marhabaan from Cairo

HMH writers travel far and wide.  Nearly nine years after publishing Pyramid, author and illustrator David Macaulay traveled to Cairo and sent HMH the postcard at left.

Did you know that HMH will release Macaulay’s The Way Things Work Now on October 4? It’s an update to his bestseller, The New Way Things Work, with new sections about the technology that most impacts our everyday lives.

Bonjour from Paris

Drenka Willen

What could be more emblematic of a journey than writing to a friend from a train? The postcard at right is from Poet Laureate (2007-2008) Charles Simic writing to his HMH editor, Drenka Willen, as he was traveling north from Paris.

Hello from Hyannisport

Even HMH employees away on holiday have checked in to the office via postcard. HMH editor Craig Wiley sent the postcard below from Hyannisport, Mass. to fellow editor Austin Olney explaining that he had taken over the family dinner table to work on Margaret Coit’s biography of Andrew Jackson.

Hello from Hyannisport 

Greetings from the Road

Finally, nothing says “I’m on the road” quite as much as a postcard from a motel.

This postcard was sent by another HMH employee to the children’s department publicity manager alerting her to a bookstore’s plan to promote Jane Goodsell’s Katie’s Magic Glasses.

Greetings from the Road   Greetings from the Road

While there is much to be said for the efficiency of instant communication and the fun of scrolling through the messages and photos on social media, it is still fun to see these epistolary relics of a time lost, yet not so long ago.