Welcome to the rejection-letter hall of fame, where the hopes and dreams of celebrities (Jimi Hendrix, Andy Warhol, among others) are crushed alongside the aspirations of the rest of us. You’ll find handwritten notes from former lovers, nasty e-mails from would-be bosses, heated texts, crayon scrawlings, and surprising dismissals from Playboy, Disney, even the pope. To unearth this collection, Bill Shapiro searched America’s desk drawers, hard drives, and government files. But what at first seems to be a voyeuristic jaunt through other people’s flops is ultimately a testimony to everyone who has at least tried. And while rejection’s sting is painful, it is not lethal; here, you’ll see that one of the great universals is not only people’s desire for acceptance but also their ability to persevere.
BILL SHAPIRO is the editor in chief of LIFE.com and the former editor of LIFE magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
"’A rejection letter can sway or scar a life,’ writes editor Bill Shapiro, ‘causing one person to give up his dreams, another to work harder.’ They’re no fun either way, but after reading the examples in his new book, at least you’ll know you’re not alone." - People
"A lusciously laid out compendium of snobbery as delicious as it is heartbreaking" – New York Observer’s Very Short List
"A collection of more than 150 notes, letters, and telegrams that will make you feel good about yourself." – Esquire.com
"Bill Shapiro shares 150 nay-saying (and jaw-dropping) messages that’ll take the sting out of your own recent burns, spurns, and turndowns" – More Magazine
"The native Angeleno and editor of Life.com must have rifled through lots of desk drawers (and government files) to come up with these: nasty emails, angry texts, and dismissals of both the famous (like Andy Warhol and Jimi Hendrix) and non-famous alike – and they’re funny because they’re not ours." – LAmag.com
"A new anthology of career failure, romantic relationship disasters, cute letdowns, and outrageously nasty trash talk" – Boston Herald
“A great gift for anyone who has ever heard a resounding no.” -- AllYou.com