* Following his wife Alice's death, the author receives condolence letters from people who know her well and people she never meets.
* In one condolence letter, a friend jokes that the author does not deserve Alice.
* Alice is a frequent character in books and magazine pieces written by the author.
* The author often portrays his wife as somewhat stern in his writing, but in real life, she is young at heart and cares deeply for others.
* Twelve years after Alice is operated on for lung cancer, she writes a letter to a rape victim to express her empathy and support.
* The author describes meeting Alice at a party in December 1963.
* A few weeks after meeting Alice for the first time, the author finds her at another party, where he tries to entertain and impress her.
* Even decades later after the author marries Alice, she sometimes tells him...
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