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Madonna‘s Men

A million thanks to you for putting Madonna on the cover of your magazine. I enjoyed the pictures and article, and I cannot thank you enough.

Sarah Dickinson, Lyndonville, Vt.

Your cover story about pop diva Madonna proved to be intoxi-catedly entertaining.

Mike Vinson, McMinnville, Tenn.

Madonna has embraced her true self. Through her, the rest of us can understand ourselves and are trying to make it the best we can. I’m 38, married two years and two months pregnant. Do I think of Madonna as a role model? Damn right!

Yvonne Johnson, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Biographer Andrew Morton calls Madonna “an old-fashioned Catholic girl.” Yet the article goes on to document her terminated pregnancies, embittered divorce, two children born outside of marriage, sexual liaisons with men and women and obsession with being famous. Something doesn’t seem right here. I think this old-fashioned Catholic girl had better check her catechism.

Becky Moore, Evanston, Ill.

Come on, PEOPLE, Madonna is smart, talented, successful, happily married, a doting mother of two and is in the best shape of her life, and all you can do is dredge up her past. I don’t think this article said anything about her, but it said a lot about you.

Robin Harding, Palm Desert, Calif.

Jonathan Franzen

Bravo to Oprah for putting Jonathan Franzen in his place. Although he felt The Corrections was a hard book for her readers, I’d like him to know that I was able to muddle my way through it with little difficulty. He also needs to be reminded that we readers of Oprah‘s “schmaltzy, one-dimensional” books are the ones who keep him in rent money.

Carla Thompson, Bethesda, Ohio

Mr. Franzen is afraid of strong women. His tactics are obvious. He is insecure about any woman who has more power, intelligence, strength, money and success than he. It will take years of therapy for him to get over it, if he ever


Anne Ortelee, New York, N.Y.

Although I think what Oprah has done for reading is tremendous, I also agree with the basis of Jonathan Franzen’s reason for not wanting to have her seal of approval on his book cover. When I purchased the book, it was not Franzen’s name or the name of his book that came up on the register and got printed on my receipt. It was Oprah‘s. I’d be fairly angry if I wrote a successful book and my name became secondary.

Doris Clark, Dallas, Texas

Since when do writers need Oprah‘s stamp to be considered worth reading? How dare she appropriate the valuable gift writers give to those of us who love literature by parasitically riding piggyback on their art? I admire Jonathan Franzen for telling the truth about Oprah‘s crass club. Who needs it?

Walker Sheldon, Baltimore, Md.

Afghan Women

I have religiously read PEOPLE every week for the last 15 to 20 years. I have never felt compelled to write to you until now. My heart ached and my stomach turned when I read the article “Veil of Tears.” The plight of these Afghan women at the hands of the Taliban regime seems worse than slavery. What a dreadful, dark life they are forced to lead.

Linda Shaver, Chester Springs, Pa.

I’m really tired of stories about people in Afghanistan. I think you should do a story about all the people in America who worked for airlines and lost their jobs due to the Sept. 11 attacks. How are we going to send our children to school and buy them things that they need with no jobs? We are in need of humanitarian aid too.

Misti Livengood, Terre Haute, Ind.

Bernadine Healy

Two years ago I contacted Dr. Bernadine Healy to obtain information about the Cleveland Clinic to help my uncle who was terminally ill with a brain tumor. This wonderful lady took the time to personally call me and even offered to make arrangements for us to go there. I will never forget what she did. I believe that her resignation as American Red Cross chief is unfortunate, but I wish her the very best. If only we had more people like her.

Nancy Ramsey, Waverly, Ohio

The president of the Red Cross receives $450,000 a year? It makes you question the salaries of the top employees of our charitable organizations.

Laurie Boehmer, Osage, Iowa

Jane Aronson

I just have to say what a wonderful story about Dr. Jane Aronson. She is a true hero. I had the pleasure of hearing her speak at an adoption conference. It’s a shame you didn’t put her on the cover.

Gina Bonfietti, Milford, Conn,