Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom

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9780064462358: Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom

She trusted her immense intuition and generous heart--and published the most groundbreaking books for children in modern history... Ursula Nordstrom, director of Harper's Department of Books for Boys and Girls from 1940 to 1973, was arguably the single most creative force for innovation in children's book publishing in the United States during the twentieth century. Considered an editor of maverick temperament and taste, her unorthodox vision helped create such classics as Goodnight Moon, Charlotte's Web, Where the Wild Things Are, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and The Giving Tree.

Leonard S. Marcus has culled an exceptional collection of letters from the HarperCollins archives. The letters included here are representative of the brilliant correspondence that was instrumental in the creation of some of the most beloved books in the world today. Full of wit and humor, they are immensely entertaining, thought-provoking, and moving in their revelation of the devotion and high-voltage intellect of an incomparably gifted editor, mentor, and publishing visionary.

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Ursula Nordstrom, editorial director of Harper's Department of Books for Boys and Girls from 1940 to 1973 and a formidable creative force in 20th-century children's book publishing, was responsible for polishing and shepherding countless dog-eared classics from Where the Wild Things Are to Charlotte's Web to Harriet the Spy. One of the most remarkable things about this extraordinary woman was her prolific correspondence with her cherished team of children's book authors and illustrators, all of whom she liked to call "Genius." Fortunately, many of her letters--warm, witty, temperamental, flattering, extravagant, self-deprecating, sympathetic, and always human--have been culled from HarperCollins's archives, gathered from many generous individuals, and arranged in chronological order by the noted biographer and critic Leonard S. Marcus. The result is Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom, complete with black-and-white photographs, extensive footnotes, a bibliography, and an index.

In this fascinating behind-the-scenes look at children's book publishing, letters to Shel Silverstein, Maurice Sendak, Laura Ingalls Wilder, John Steptoe, and Kay Thompson reveal a woman on an unorthodox quest to wrench children's literature from the stultifying clutches of sentimental illusion and false piety. Her dedication to creative, honest, original, non-condescending books for children changed the landscape of children's literature forever. As Marcus writes in his introduction, "...her letters have much to tell about the arts of writing, illustrating, and editing; the social history of the twentieth century; and the pivotal role that books, and a love of books, can play in children's lives. To read the letters is to receive a many-faceted education from a teacher of rare insight, good humor, and lively humanity. I am glad that readers will now be able to share in the experience."

About the Author:

Leonard S. Marcus is an historian, biographer, and critic whose many books include Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom; Margaret Wise Brown: Awakened by the Moon; The Making of Goodnight Moon: A Fiftieth Anniversary Retrospective; and Lifelines. Mr. Marcus is a graduate of Yale University and of the University of Iowa's graduate Writers Workshop in Poetry. He and his wife, the illustrator Amy Schwartz, live with their son, Jacob, in Brooklyn, NY.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 1998. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Ursula Nordstrom, director of Harper's Department of Books for Boys and Girls from 1940 to 1973, is regarded as the single most creative force for innovation in children's book publishing in the United States during the twentieth century. Considered an editor of maverick temperament and taste, she dared to publish groundbreaking, sometimes controversial books for an audience that was used to the often condescending material deemed "appropriate" for children. Her unorthodox vision of what she called "good books for bad children" helped create such classics as Goodnight Moon, Charlotte's Web, Where the Wild Things are, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and the Giving Tree. But it took a lot more than editorial genius to juggle such a diverse roster of talent as Margaret Wise Brown, Shel Silverstein, E. B. White, Maurice Sendak, and John Steptoe; it took immense intuition and a generous heart. Recognizing that artists need emotional as well as financial support, Nordstrom gave to each what she or he needed to thrive and flourish. She could be a best friend, a teacher, a mother, and sometimes even a taskmaster. Most of all, she was always available - ready to talk, to listen, to encourage, and to guide. Leonard S. Marcus has culled an exceptional collection of letters from the HarperCollins archives. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0064462358

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 226 x 157 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. She trusted her immense intuition and generous heart--and published the most. Ursula Nordstrom, director of Harper s Department of Books for Boys and Girls from 1940 to 1973, was arguably the single most creative force for innovation in children s book publishing in the United States during the twentieth century. Considered an editor of maverick temperament and taste, her unorthodox vision helped create such classics as Goodnight Moon, Charlotte s Web, Where the Wild Things Are, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and The Giving Tree.Leonard S. Marcus has culled an exceptional collection of letters from the HarperCollins archives. The letters included here are representative of the brilliant correspondence that was instrumental in the creation of some of the most beloved books in the world today. Full of wit and humor, they are immensely entertaining, thought-provoking, and moving in their revelation of the devotion and high-voltage intellect of an incomparably gifted editor, mentor, and publishing visionary.Ursula Nordstrom, director of Harper s Department of Books for Boys and Girls from 1940 to 1973, was arguably the single most creative force for innovation in children s book publishing in the United States during the twentieth century. Considered an editor of maverick temperament and taste, her unorthodox vision helped create such classics as Goodnight Moon, Charlotte s Web, Where the Wild Things Are, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and The Giving Tree.Leonard S. Marcus has culled an exceptional collection of letters from the HarperCollins archives. The letters included here are representative of the brilliant correspondence that was instrumental in the creation of some of the most beloved books in the world today. Full of wit and humor, they are immensely entertaining, thought-provoking, and moving in their revelation of the devotion and high-voltage intellect of an incomparably gifted editor, mentor, and publishing visionary. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780064462358

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