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Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom

Nordstrom, Ursula (Leonard S. Marcus, Editor)

ISBN 10: 0060236256 / ISBN 13: 9780060236250
Published by HarperCollins Children's Book Group, New York, NY, U.S.A., 1998
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Parrish Books, IOBA (Marylhurst, OR, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Our Maurice Sendak Collection at Parrish Books would not be complete without this wonderful book, a First Edition, First printing featuring the letters of a person Mr. Sendak has described to us as the most influential person in his career, Ursula Nordstrom, director of Harper's Department of Books for Boys and Girls from 1940 to 1973. This is a book of her letters to the talented authors and illustrators working on books for her and Harper during those years. Nordstrom met Sendak when he was "twenty-two-and-a-half" year-old, working in the window display department of F.A.O. Schwarz and the store's children's book buyer, Frances Chrystie, arranged a meeting between the two. A day later, Nordstrom offered Sendak the assignment of illustrating "The Wonderful Farm" and a long and productive relationship for both had begun. The book includes many wonderful letters from Nordstrom to her artists and authors to Sendak including one that includes ".Now you're rich and famous and need no words of wonder from me. But I must send them, anyhow, when I look through 'Where The Wild Things Are.' It is it is utterly magnificent." This book is in fine unread condition, protected by an archival plastic cover. An important signature. Bookseller Inventory # 1241

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom

Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Book Group, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Cloth & Boards

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition, First Printing.

About this title


Presents a collection of the correspondence written by the director of Harper's Department of Books for Boys and Girls from 1940 to 1973, which was instrumental in the creation of such children's classics as Charlotte's Web and The Giving Tree.


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."

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Parrish Books is a full-time on-line book dealer selling quality collectible books since 2002. With specialities in books (most signed) by Richard Bach, Ray Bradbury, Tom Clancy, Edward Gorey, John Updike, Kurt Vonnegut, John Grisham, Philip Roth, Tony Hillerman, and many others. We also feature an extensive collection of Genesis Publications, Easton Press and Franklin Library books, most signed. We pride ourselves on our detailed pictures of our books, good customer service and quality packaging for all orders. Our customers are important to us and we welcome customer inquiries. All orders are shipped no later than the next day following payment and we ensure that your book arrives safely and as described. Thanks for visiting Parrish Books and we invite you to visit our Homepage!

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