Dear Genius: the Letters of Ursula Nordstrom

Nordstrom, Ursula; Marcus, Leonard S. (editor)

Published by Harpercollins, 1998
ISBN 10: 0064462358 / ISBN 13: 9780064462358
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IOBA. Remainder mark on page bottoms, covers; Nordstrom was the director of the Harper's Department of Books for Boys and Girls from 1940 to 1973 and helped nourish the talents of such authors and illustrators as Maurice Sendak, Crockett Johnson, E. B. White, Margaret Wise Brown, Shel Silverstein, John Steptoe, Garth Williams, Ezra Jack Keats, Hilary Knight, Erik Blegvad, Meindert DeJong, Natalie Savage Carlson, and the list just goes on. An interesting read and lends insight into the publication of juvenile literature. Bibliography, index. ; 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall; 406 pages. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: 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.

Review: 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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Bibliographic Details

Title: Dear Genius: the Letters of Ursula Nordstrom
Publisher: Harpercollins
Publication Date: 1998
Binding: Softcover
Book Condition: Very Good scuffed.

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Book Description HarperCollins, NY, 1998. Trade Paperback. Condition: Very Good. No Jacket. 406 pp. with Index and Bibliography. B&W illustrations. Ursula Nordstrom was director of Harper's Department of Books for Boys and Girls from 1940 to 1973. Spine slightly faded. Binding tight, text clean. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Seller Inventory # 40641

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