The Florist's Daughter

The Florist s Daughter 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 entr e to St Paul society and a distrus

  • Title: The Florist's Daughter
  • Author: Patricia Hampl
  • ISBN: 9780156034036
  • Page: 423
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 entr e 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 struDuring 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 entr e 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 role from 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.

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      Patricia Hampl

    About Author

    1. Patricia Hampl s most recent book is The Florist s Daughter, winner of numerous best and year end awards, including the New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year and the 2008 Minnesota Book Award for Memoir and Creative Nonfiction Blue Arabesque A Search for the Sublime, published in 2006 and now in paperback, was also one of the Times Notable Books a portion was chosen for The Best Spiritual Writing 2005.Patricia Hampl first won recognition for A Romantic Education, her memoir about her Czech heritage, awarded a Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship This book and subsequent works have established her as an influential figure in the rise of autobiographical writing in the past 25 years.She is the author as well of two collections of poetry, Woman before an Aquarium, and Resort and Other Poems And she has published Spillville, a meditation on Antonin Dvorak s 1893 summer in Iowa, with engravings by Steven Sorman Virgin Time, about her Catholic upbringing and an inquiry into contemplative life, is available in a recent paperback.I Could Tell You Stories, her collection of essays on memory and imagination, was a finalist in 2000 for the National Book Critics Circle Awards in General Nonfiction Four of her books have been named Notable Books of the year by The New York Times Book Review A Romantic Education appeared in a new edition with a post Cold War Afterword in honor of the tenth anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in 1999 In 2001, Carnegie Mellon Press chose Resort and Other Poems for its Contemporary Classics series.In 2004 Borealis Books of the Minnesota Historical Society Press published The Short Stories of F Scott Fitzgerald edited and with an introduction by Patricia Hampl And in fall 2008 Tell Me True Memoir, History and Writing a Life came out from the same imprint, co edited by Ms Hampl and Elaine Tyler May with essays by 14 memoirists including the editors.Ms Hampl s fiction, poems, reviews, essays and travel pieces have appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, Paris Review, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays.She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Bush Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts twice, in poetry and prose , Ingram Merrill Foundation, and Djerassi Foundation In 1990 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship Ms Hampl is Regents Professor and McKnight Distinguished Professor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis where she teaches fall semesters in the MFA program of the English Department She is also a member of the permanent faculty of the Prague Summer Program She regularly gives readings, lectures and workshops across the country and internationally.

    One thought on “The Florist's Daughter

    1. I first bought this book two or years ago From good publicity in literary places, I thought this would be one I SHOULD read My interest in the book waned by page 26 and I put it aside This morning for some reason I found it again My circumstances have changed completely from my first reading I have NEVER had the realization how much my own situation brought to how I felt about a book until just now.My 93 year old mother is frail A few months ago I figured she would go any timehaving outlived th [...]


    2. I enjoy memoirs It s fun for me to read about people with interesting lives than mine However, I think writing a memoir poses a challenge, and also involves some risk How many aspiring writers out there have jotted down ordinary journal entries and sent them in for publication, hoping for a big break Where do you draw the line between personal disclosure and good storytelling FYI pouring your soul into the page doesn t necessarily make for good writing That s what someone should have told Patri [...]


    3. According to the biographical info on the back flap of this book, this is Patricia Hampl s fifth memoir I haven t read any of the others, and since this one left me quite underwhelmed, I m not sure that I would.A memoir doesn t absolutely require a narrative arc, but I think that a reader might find the presence of one rewarding, and this book really doesn t have it Patricia s presence at her mother s bedside on the night of her death is the framing device for her recollections of growing up in [...]


    4. The Florist s Daughter was a hard read for me A nothing happened narrative, our kind of story The author kept circling around the same subjects, beating a dead horse so to speak, to the point I felt like she was soon going to take me straight to her or my own insanity Poetic or not where we were headed didn t feel like a healthy place We seemed incredibly stuck in things we couldn t change like heritage, where we grew up and how our parents see the world I couldn t understand why we weren t goin [...]


    5. Did she ever get her way Not then, not during her sweetheart period, not till later when she mastered the fine art of being impossible p 11This is a beautifully written, intricately structured memoir in honor of the writer s parents She deciphers who her parents were and who she became because of them in episodes so poetic, I think she labored over every single word Because of the title, I thought this would be about her father, the florist, but there s equal time spent on her mother It s slow, [...]


    6. This is a modest little book, but exquisitely written Patricia Hampl is a poet as well as prose writer, and it shows I was very touched by, and I personally related to, the relationship of the grown author and her aging parents Long ago I read her Romantic Education and now I remember that it was the beauty of the writing that made me love it so much This quote is from her thinking back on schoolgirl days Only poetry and music, it seemed, could express the real things, which were the unsayable t [...]


    7. The book started off with Patricia Hampl at her mother s bedside The first third to half was dedicated to just being by that bedside I liked how it started off that way, made it interesting, but for such a short book, there was too much emphasis on that I m fine with a certain percentage of a book being dreary, but this one had too much of it And I thought it might have a little to do with a flower shop of some kind, a little on a parent this one being the father being a florist and the floris [...]


    8. This book is beautifully written I just wish the subject matter had been different I was immediately in love when I started it and got sucked in with the language and style of writing But that only lasted through the description of the author s sharp edged mother and her mother s relationships with the people and places around her When the father the florist was finally introduced, the climate shifted and it was hard going Even though this is a memoir and the title includes daughter , there was [...]


    9. I wanted to like this book than I did I wanted to be committed to the people and wrapped up in their life I just wasn t But that didn t stop me from crying when her mom died I mean, how can you read a death scene and not cry


    10. I can see why other people would like this memoir but it just didn t sit well with me It s very poetic, abstract, and non linear, and I couldn t relate to many of the themes It s a beautiful book that just isn t my style.


    11. This is Hampl s fifth memoir, a meditation upon her parents and her relationship with them Hampl grew up in St Paul, Minnesota and according to this book never left She cared for her parents through multiple illnesses Her father died of heart failure, her mother eventually of a number of illnesses, dementia finally obliterating much of her ability to relate to the real world, something that Hample took in her stride Hampl s memoir is not of the confessional variety there are few lurid secrets in [...]


    12. It d be 3.5 stars.Hampl has a dreamy writing style that seemed especially appropriate as she sat at her dying mother s bedside in the hospital.Hampl spends these dead of the night hours remembering how she ended up there the daughter of a Czech florist and a library archivist Irish mother.She jumps from place to place in her history examining her relationship with her parents, as their primary caretaker She never really left St Paul, always felt bound to them somehow there the middle class, the [...]


    13. While her mother lay in the hospital dying, Patricia Hampl began writing this quiet introspective meditation on her two parents She describes her parents relentlessly modest life and her own as middle class folks living ordinary lives in middle America While the author was determined to get away, in the end she finds herself caring for her parents as they age and eventually pass away She describes her hard edged, bookish Irish mother and her handsome naive Czech father the florist with compassio [...]


    14. This beautifully written memoir is the work of the florist s daughter whose Czech father accepted her as a poet, and whose Irish mother constantly reminded her she was a writer A writer, a poet small difference compared to the major differences between her parents cultural backgrounds, outlooks on life, and relationships with their daughter Their life stories are told with humor, compassion and a unique insight that allows the reader to be there, to really know these people There isn t anyone wh [...]


    15. Despite the geographical location of Old St Paul, I found much similarity in Patricia Hampl s story, with my own upbringing And I loved how she went back and forth in her memories between the influences and personalities of each of her unique and distinct parents It seems a universal story about the role of the daughter, and certainly rang true with my life, as my mother was also the one who lingered with terminal conditions after my father died from congestive heart disease, and I became her pr [...]


    16. Maybe I need to try reading this again in a few months I had high expectations and was very disappointed I thought I would be able to realate to this character author , but the book really bored me I had trouble finishing it The author discusses her common upbringing by common parents as she sits by her mother s deathbed while writing Mom s obituary I seems Dad was a hardworking and well respected florist and mom worked in a library and liked to document much of their life My impression was that [...]


    17. Intereseting memoir Telling the story of living in the Twin Cities comparing the ethnic culture of the Norwegians of Mpls and the Irish Catholic of St Paul along with all the different neighborhoods, historic buildings, and difficulties of living in this era.I coud relate to this quote I opened the door to the rest of my life, this new life without a living link to the old world, and he said, as if he knew all about me, Well, now that s the end of an era for you Having not grown up in the Twin C [...]


    18. I think I ve mentioned numerous times that I ll read pretty much any memoir that comes my way I saw this on the new book shelf at the library and brought it home based on simply on the facts that it was a memoir, and I used to work in a flower shop What comes home with me from the library has a very low bar to cross.Anyway, I loved this book This author is a wonderful, wonderful writer It is instantly clear that she is a poet as her lovely and lyrical writing shines from every page This book per [...]


    19. I chose this book because of the reviews praising Hampl s prose as otherworldly, as something one would not expect out of a memoir written in 2007 The Florist s Daughter does not disappoint It is about everything and nothing a collection of Hampl s memories and instances that tied together Irish and Czech heritage while she was growing up in St Paul, MN in the 50 s and 60 s We begin with Hampl clutching the hand of her dying mother while with her free hand, writing her obituary Like her florist [...]


    20. At first I was worried this book would be too site specific too focused on St Paul for an Iowan like myself But I really warmed to it I was interested in the way Hampl depicted her changing relationship with her parents, both as they aged and as she herself changed I like her thoughts about how she became a writer with their influences and within that household I like the sketchy depiction of her brother to whom the book is dedicated Will there be a memoir about him down the road And I like the [...]


    21. As Patricia Hampl sits bedside during her mother s fading moments, she recalls her formative years as the daughter of a feisty, distrustful Irishwoman and a handsome, gentle Czech I love the vivid sense of place Hampl creates I have never been to St Paul, but could visualize the streets, the river, the fancy downtown store where wealthy visitors purchased flower arrangements from Hampl s father As the granddaughter of a feisty Irishwoman and her handsome, gentle husband, I could connect to many [...]


    22. This was a beautifully written memoir about the author s parents The author grew up on St.Paul s West End and Crocus Hill neighborhoods and the book contains wonderful descriptions of St.Paul and it s neighborhoods My grandparents lived on the West End, and I appraise property there now, so the neighborhood evokes particular memories for me There were also some uncanny similarities with my parents lives that were particularly touching to me I enjoyed the book very much, so much so that I started [...]


    23. Hampl makes me feel nostalgic for St Paul, though I only live ten minutes from there Honestly The way she describes her childhood, her growing up Catholic and Irish and Czech reminds me of my childhood, growing up Catholic and Irish and German The death of her parents is something I dread with my own parents And I long to escape, to go somewhere, to do something important, but will probably, ultimately, never truly be able to leave Old St Paul I still call Macy s Dayton s, and I go to Landmark a [...]


    24. AS far as memoirs go, this was enjoyable Hampl has written other memoirs, this one happens to tell about her relationship with her parents and her reflections on no longer being a daughter after both have passed away My mother believed that words were everything They could go anywhere, be anything They got you to the Great World without a ticket The world is eternally embattled, good and evil contend, people burn Life s no party, no matter how much we count on parties, life off them Life s a fig [...]


    25. Hempl writes memoir with the artistic flair of fiction Her poignant account of her mother s passing includes detailed descriptions of St Paul neighborhoods, her father s work as a florist, her own desire to reach beyond the middle of everything A historian friend loaned this title to me After reading it I m sure that the writer s clever weaving of time and place must be why she recommended it.


    26. I checked this book out of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh after finishing I Could Tell You Stories, and enjoyed it during a trip back to Minnesota to visit family this spring Hampl s descriptions of Old St Paul remind me of all of the best parts of the city, and open a window into the time before I 94 and 35E were routed through its neighborhoods, and into the lives of Czech and Irish immigrants and their families during the midcentury.


    27. What pretty, pretty writing, telling such a soft story It s funny that the quintessential American novels so often turn out to be memoirs She captures the depression era children in adulthood and the end of the gentility of old families with old money in new cities and she does it with such beautiful language.This is not so much a captivating book as a charming one I was sorry when it was finished.


    28. This refreshing memoir tells the story of ordinary lives ordinary in the fact that no one in the book is famous, drug addled, or suffers undue hardship What s remarkable about Hampl s story of her parents lives is how extraordinary it is They may not have been millionaires, celebrities, or war heroes, but they were good people and good parents, and that fact alone makes them worthy of writing and reading about Inspiring.


    29. I only read the first fifty pages, and found absolutely nothing in this book that would compel me to continue I only read that far because it was a book club choice, and I thought if everyone talked it up, I would finish But nobody liked it Basically, it was like a lady I didn t know suddenly started complaining to me about her life, but I had no way of connecting with her at all, and there wasn t any story to it It was just a stranger complaining I was bored.


    30. Patricia Hampl does amazing things with airy nothings Musing on a yellow legal pad during her mother s dying night, she reveals her St Paul family with perceptive detail The city becomes a character her florist father, one of its heros I enjoyed learning about St Paul history from Hampl s Irish Czech past.


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