The Florist's Daughter

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-01-01
  • Publisher: Lightning Source Inc

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During the long farewell of her mother's dying, Patricia Hampl revisits her midwestern girlhood.Daughter of a debonair Czech father, whose floral work gave him entree to St. Paul society, and a distrustful Irishwoman with an uncanny ability to tell a tale,Hampl remained, primarily and passionately, a daughter well into adulthood. She traces the arc of faithfulness and struggle that comes with that rolefrom the postwar years past the turbulent sixties. At the heart of The Florist's Daughter is the humble passion of people who struggled out of the Depression into a better chance, not only for themselves but for the common good.Widely recognized as one of our most masterly memoirists, Patricia Hampl has written an extraordinary memoir that is her most intimate, yet most universal, work to date.This transporting work will resonate with readers of Francine du Plessix Gray's Them: A Memoir of Parents and JeannetteWall's The Glass Castle.

Author Biography

PATRICIA HAMPL is the author of four memoirs—A Romantic Education, Virgin Time, I Could Tell You Stories, and Blue Arabesque—and two collections of poetry. She has received a MacArthur Fellowship, among many other awards. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Table of Contents

A series of vignettes from
The Florists Daughter appeared in an essay titled
Lilac Nostalgia in Five
Points Journal in Spring 2003
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


He wasn't shrewed. His business talents were those of a faithful retainer, fatally steadfast, dedicated, a believer in surfaces, a truster of the good word of others. And as my mother maintained from her elevated perch of Irish mistrust, he admired the rich. A Fitzgeraldian fault that perhps came with the Summit Avenue Territory. The greenhouse was his love. There was something dangerous in loving your work too much. Such passion betrayed the ruinous appetite of an artist. And weren't the lives of artists cautionary rather than exemplary tales? Stay away from all that.But he never thought of himself as an artist. Too bad. It might have helped, in the end, had he allowed himself the small, saving vanity.

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