Gottshall understands both the appeal and the repulsion of giving up; each piece bristles with the quiet kinetics of keeping each in check. Starvation, cold, and the dead world strip away everything the narrator has, yet her weak grip on civilization seems more hopeful than pitiful. This is the magic ofFlood Letters: the speaker holds on. We see a soul one step beyond capitulation, the need to exist as a creator, the hope of futile correspondence. The reader is compelled to reply.