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The Last Flower:
A Parable In Pictures
James Thurber
9781888683455 l $22.95
case bound hardcover,
132 pages; 7" by 8 1/4"

      James Thurber understood timing and nuance; even on the night the bed fell on father. After all, James was in that bed. Born and raised in Columbus Ohio-and cherished worldwide-James Thurber occupied the catbird seat as an astute commentator on the human condition for over 40 years.

      The Last Flower, composed on Thurber's favorite yellow paper, was conceived and completed at the Algonquin Hotel-quite possibly the nation's vortex for intellectual activity at the time. The New York Herald immediately identified The Last Flower as "a happy miracle" and found it "full of alarming acute vision, profound pity and innocent beauty."
      The novelist Ellen Glasgow, captivated by the book, wrote to Thurber, "I found that I had forgotten your wonderful birds. How is it possible to put so much expression into a single curve?"
      Thurber's work "began where the other cartoonists left off," claimed the German artist George Grosz. It was rumored that Henri Matisse said, "the only good artist in New York is a man named Thurber." Albert Camus translated The Last Flower into French.
      Helen Thurber considered it her favorite of her husband's twenty-six books and it was Thurber's favorite as well. A year after James Thurber's death, a potted flower, remarkably similar to the ones in his drawings, was found on his grave in Columbus-a flower similar to the one also etched on Thurber's tombstone.
      The Last Flower is a profound and permanent literary contribution from a man who had deep psychological insights into the human condition and whose wistful and ironic means of expression were best described by E.B. White when he wrote in The New Yorker, "Of all the flowers, real and figurative ... the one that will remain fresh and wilt-proof is the little flower ... on the last page of that lovely book."
"Although he is best known for 'Walter Mitty' and 'The Male Animal,' the book of his I like best is The Last Flower. In it you will find his faith in the renewal of life, his feeling for the beauty and fragility of life on earth."
-E.B. White
Out of Print