How ‘Letters’ Became A Book

Immediately following Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, a woman living in Sendai, Japan, by the name of Anne Thomas began emailing her family and friends to let them know that she had survived and was alright.

What transpired was a series of moving e-letters to this core group. Notably, and although Anne never envisioned her e-letters becoming a book; they have since gone viral and have been reprinted online and in newspapers the world over.

Interestingly, the terrible events of that March themselves were not what inspired Anne’s letters. Rather and quite the contrary, it was the countless, unsung acts of kindness, large and small that Anne observed among her neighbors and total strangers, alike – which in turn, continue to inspire others – and capture our global empathy.

This book resulted from someone in the USA seeing a portion of Anne’s first letter, which had been forwarded to them by a friend in the UK. The U.S. recipient, a designer and writer named Brian Penry, managed to contact Anne through, where Anne also blogged about post-earthquake and tsunami conditions. In corresponding with Anne, Brian told Anne that her letters were extraordinary, and suggested that they be collected in a book – in order to raise funds for survivors of (what are now known as) The Great East Japan / Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. Anne and Brian began working closely together to bring this project to fruition as quickly as possible. The result is Letters from the Ground to the Heart.

Letters from the Ground to the Heart (Anne in Japan Publishing, First Edition, Paperback, 228 pages) – is NOW available at

Additionally, hardcover, audio and e-book editions of ‘Letters’ are now in the works – which along with the paperback edition, will also soon be available at other, major online outlets.

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