Onward and Upward in the Garden

White, Katherine

Published by NYRB Classics
ISBN 10: 1590178505 / ISBN 13: 9781590178508
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Synopsis: In 1925 Harold Ross hired Katharine Sergeant Angell as a manuscript reader for The New Yorker. Within months she became the magazine’s first fiction editor, discovering and championing the work of Vladimir Nabokov, John Updike, James Thurber, Marianne Moore, and her husband-to-be, E. B. White, among others. After years of cultivating fiction, White set her sights on a new genre: garden writing. On March 1, 1958, The New Yorker ran a column entitled “Onward and Upward in the Garden,” a critical review of garden catalogs, in which White extolled the writings of “seedmen and nurserymen,” those unsung authors who produced her “favorite reading matter.” Thirteen more columns followed, exploring the history and literature of gardens, flower arranging, herbalists, and developments in gardening. Two years after her death in 1977, E. B. White collected and published the series, with a fond introduction. The result is this sharp-eyed appreciation of the green world of growing things, of the aesthetic pleasures of gardens and garden writing, and of the dreams that gardens inspire.

About the Author: Katharine S. White (1892–1977) was born in Winchester, Massachusetts, the youngest of three daughters. She attended Miss Winsor’s School and Bryn Mawr College, and in 1915 married Ernest Angell, with whom she had two children, Nancy and Roger. She became the first fiction editor at The New Yorker in 1925. Four years later, she met and, after separating from her first husband, married E.B. White, with whom she had one son, Joel. In the early 1930s the Whites bought a farmhouse in North Brooklin, Maine, and by the end of the decade they moved there from New York. White began writing garden pieces for The New Yorker in 1958, in the waning years of her long career as fiction editor, in which she exerted a profound influence on twentieth-century American literature. Onward and Upward in the Garden (1979) is her only book, edited and published posthumously by her husband E.B. White.

E.B. White (1899–1985) was the youngest of six children, born  in Mount Vernon, New York. He attended Cornell University, where he earned his lifelong nickname, Andy. He worked as a reporter and a copywriter before being recommended for a job at the newly founded New Yorker by the fiction editor Katharine Angell, who had read his submissions to the magazine. White became a regular contributor to The New Yorker in 1927, writing essays known for their humor and honesty. He was the author of three beloved children’s books, Stuart Little (1945), Charlotte’s Web (1952), and The Trumpet of the Swan (1970), and the co-author of Elements of Style (1959) with his former professor William Strunk Jr. In 1971 he received the National Medal for Literature. His masterful Here Is New York, considered one of the ten best books ever written about New York City, is available from The Little Bookroom.

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Title: Onward and Upward in the Garden
Publisher: NYRB Classics
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