In her new memoir, titled Dear Mr. You, Parker pens 34 letters to men who have made an impression on her life

By Jodi Guglielmi
Updated November 11, 2015 05:00 PM
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Credit: Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic

Mary-Louis Parker is telling it like it is.

In her new memoir, titled Dear Mr. You, Parker, 51, pens 34 letters to men who have made an impression on her life. From her father to the doctor who helped save her life, Parker chronicles her various encounters with the opposite sex – including a few ex-boyfriends, none of whom she actually calls out by name.

But this hasn’t stopped readers from trying to pinpoint the famous men and moments in Parker’s life – including her tumultuous relationship with Billy Crudup.

Although Parker never names Crudup, speculation has intensified that the chapter “Dear Cabdriver” alludes to their relationship. In the letter, a then-pregnant Parker recalls an emotional breakdown she has while riding in a cab that gets lost on her way to an appointment. (Parker was pregnant with Crudup’s child when he left her for Claire Danes, in 2003; nearly four years later, she adopted a baby girl.)

“I am alone. Look, see? I am pregnant and alone. It hurts to even breathe,” she writes, elaborating on her deep pain as she struggles to get by on her own while apologizing in the wake of an argument.

While this chapter is especially emotional, Parker’s book is full of her revealing musings on men. Here are five other notable letters from Parker’s book, out in stores now.

Dear Daddy
Parker pens a letter to her father, whom she refers to many times throughout the book, writing of his strong will and hopeful spirit. In this letter, she singles out his willingness to do anything to make his children happy, even spending beyond their financial means in order to make their dreams – like going on a tour of Europe as a teenager – come true.

Dear Man Out of Time
Parker writes of a man she met at a party and “fell in love” with, but never dated. Instead, they were both in happy relationships at the time – which Parker said made their relationship more pure. She found out that the man was dying of cancer, and despite his limited time, they would spend nights together talking for hours. Parker writes that even though her friendship with this man was short-lived, it was still profoundly impactful.

Dear Former Boyfriend
This is the first chapter in which Parker explicitly refers to a relationship. While she spoke of men she was interested in or involved with, this is the first letter written for a boyfriend. In it, she cites their last fight, which lasted for over 24 hours and ended with them both exhausted and starving. After burning her leg en route to a Mexican restaurant, Parker realizes she didn’t even know her boyfriend that well, or “a good many of people attached to my scars, visible or not.”

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Dear Doctor
In a gut-wrenching recollection of Parker’s health scare, which she says almost killer her, the actress ponders the unexpected finality that comes with death. After going into septic shock due to a combination of pneumonia and influenza, Parker thanks the doctor who helped give her a second chance at life.

Dear Future Man Who Loves My Daughter
In perhaps one of the most comical chapters of the book, Parker writes a letter to the man who will eventually fall in love with her now-middle-school-aged daughter. Giving her daughter’s future suitor advice on both how to treat, and how not to treat her daughter – even threatening to send people to hurt him if he hurts her – the actress sums up everything she has learned from her past relationships that she hopes to pass to her children.