The Florist's Daughter

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9780156034036: The Florist's Daughter

During the long farewell of her mother’s dying, Patricia Hampl revisits her midwestern girlhood.Daughter of a debonair Czech father, whose floral work gave him entrée to St. Paul society, and a distrustful Irishwoman with an uncanny ability to tell a tale,Hampl remained, primarily and passionately, a daughter well into adulthood. She traces the arc of faithfulness and struggle that comes with that role—from the postwar years past the turbulent sixties. At the heart of The Florist’s Daughter is the humble passion of people who struggled out of the Depression into a better chance, not only for themselves but for the common good.Widely recognized as one of our most masterly memoirists, Patricia Hampl has written an extraordinary memoir that is her most intimate, yet most universal, work to date.This transporting work will resonate with readers of Francine du Plessix Gray’s Them: A Memoir of Parents and JeannetteWall’s The Glass Castle.

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About the Author:

PATRICIA HAMPL is the author of four memoirs—A Romantic Education, Virgin Time, I Could Tell You Stories, and Blue Arabesque—and two collections of poetry. She has received a MacArthur Fellowship, among many other awards. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. Hampl (Blue Arabesque; I Could Tell You Stories) begins her very personal memoir with one hand clutching her dying mother Mary's hand, the other composing an obituary on a yellow tablet—an apt sendoff for an avid reader of biographies. As years of dutiful caretaking and a lifetime of daughterhood come to an end, Hampl reflects on her middle-class, mid-20th century middle-American stock, the kind of people who assume they're unremarkable... even as they go down in licks of flame. Since her Czech father, Stan, couldn't afford college during the Depression, he made a livelihood as a florist. Hampl's wary Irish mother, a library file clerk, endowed her with the traits of wordiness and archival passion. Like Hampl, Mary was a kind of magic realist—a storyteller who, finding people and their actions ancillary, could haunt an empty room with description as if readying it for trouble. The memoir begins with the question of why, in spite of her black-sheep, wanderlust-hippie sensibilities, Hampl never left her hometown of St. Paul, Minn. In the end, the reason is clear. There was work to do, beyond daughterly duty: Nothing is harder to grasp than a relentlessly modest life, she writes. With her enchanting prose and transcendent vision, she is indeed a florist's daughter—a purveyor of beauty—as well as a careful, tablet-wielding investigator, ever contemplative, measured and patient in her charge. (Oct.)
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Book Description HOUGHTON MIFFLIN, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.During the long farewell of her mother’s dying, Patricia Hampl revisits her midwestern girlhood.Daughter of a debonair Czech father, whose floral work gave him entrée to St. Paul society, and a distrustful Irishwoman with an uncanny ability to tell a tale,Hampl remained, primarily and passionately, a daughter well into adulthood. She traces the arc of faithfulness and struggle that comes with that role?from the postwar years past the turbulent sixties. At the heart of The Florist’s Daughter is the humble passion of people who struggled out of the Depression into a better chance, not only for themselves but for the common good.Widely recognized as one of our most masterly memoirists, Patricia Hampl has written an extraordinary memoir that is her most intimate, yet most universal, work to date.This transporting work will resonate with readers of Francine du Plessix Gray’s Them: A Memoir of Parents and JeannetteWall’s The Glass Castle. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780156034036

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