Audrey Shafer was born on December 7th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She completed her undergraduate studies at Harvard University, graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine, and finished anesthesiology residency at University of Pennstylvania. She currently teaches at Stanford University doing her clinical work at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. She has two wonderful kids, Thomas (age 23) and Rebecca (age 19). However, she loves her son the most (that's what I get for being webmaster, Becca)
Random House, Inc
Vernon Culligan has been dead to the town of Drayford, Virginia so long that when the crusty Vietnam veteran finally dies, only one person notices. Twelve-year-old Gabe gres up in the foster care system until a social worker located his uncle Vernon two years ago. When he comes home from schol to discover that his uncle has died, he's too stunned to react - so he does nothing. But the next day, returning from school, he discovers a strange note in his mailbox:
I have a secret. Do not be afraid.
And his uncle's body is gone.
Thus begins a unique exhcnage between Gabe and a secret correspondent. Flashbacks reveal how Gabe and Vernon's relationship changed their lives, and how war affects soldiers, even decades later. Eventually, Vernon's death will be discovered, and Gabe and the mystery note writer must learn to move forward.
The mailbox is a touching and beautiful story about connections - and about how two people in need can save each other. (Delacorte Press, Random House)
News and Events
poems by a Doctor/Mother
"It is the writer's willingness to look with a sustained gaze not only at what is beautiful but also at what is hard and sat until even that yields beauty, which makes these poems rewarding. Again and again, they remind us how double-edged even the most ordinary experiences may be."
The Amy Rennert Agency, Inc.
From School Library Journal:
Warm and moving, it is an evocative picture of the weblike nature of human existence and the interconnectedness of seemingly disparate experiences.
- Faith Brautigam, Gail Border Public Library, Elgin, IL
From a review from Children's Literature:
"[The Mailbox] is a taut thriller fro the younger reader while remaining very much in the realm of possibility."
- Joan Kindig, Ph.D. (recommends ages 10-14)
From The Washington Post:
From this knockout opening, first-time novelist Audrey Shafer builds a story finely balenced between mystery, and meditation, on loneliness, love and what a boy really needs to make a life.
- Elizabeth Ward (November 26, 2006), full review here
From Book Sense:
This amazing story of coping with loneliness and fear presents the realities of loss and life that many young people face today.
- Kate Bearce (November 14, 2006), full review here