The Florist's Daughter

By Patricia Hampl
(Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780156034036, 240pp.)

Publication Date: January 2009

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover

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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 entrée 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.

About the Author

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.

Conversation Starters from


  1. In the opening of The Florist's Daughter, Hampl weaves scenes of the past with images of the long good-bye she shares with her aged mother. How do these opening scenes affect you? Why is this storytelling style so powerful?

Praise For The Florist's Daughter


A Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year

A New York Times Notable Book

"The Florist’s Daughter is Hampl’s finest, most powerful book yet."—The New York Times Book Review  “Addictive . . . quietly stunning.” —People

“If anyone can restore the memoir to glory, it’s Patricia Hampl . . . Read Hampl and you will forget about Frey.” —Chicago Tribune

“[A] beautiful bouquet of a book.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Tender, thoughtful.” —Christian Science Monitor

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