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I might have guessed you were a Kerr fan. The essay she wrote on indoctrinating her children to (with? for? of?) poetry stays with me even still. (Margaret has been on my mind lately, in the same way John Anderson My Jo was on hers.)
Mind you, Kerr, like Benchley and Thurber, is comfort reading for me. I go back and hang out at her crazy castle on the Sound whenever life gets tough. It makes sense that our rather similar senses of humor come together at this point.

Check out Peg Bracken, if she's still in print - similar voice and sense of fun, different experiences. (Most common citation is likely to be The I Hate to Cook Book, but better are her essays in The Window Over the Sink.)


Ginger, I very nearly pulled a quote from that essay -- the very last part SLAYS me -- then realized I'd end up typing the whole thing.


On the bright side, now I know whom to petition for reading material if I am ever running dry. You and I appear to have very similar tastes.

Girl Detective

Re: divorced couples getting remarried. When I worked at the wedding chapel at the Mall of America a few years ago, this happened not infrequently, so it's not just a mid-last-century fictive contrivance. I worked with a few couples for whom it was the case. My best guess at the time was that they'd gotten married young, felt disillusioned when marriage wasn't the romantic ideal they'd expected, gotten divorced (they usually had kids), and then a few years later remarried, after perhaps dating or being on their own and discovering that non-marriage isn't the romantic ideal either, and perhaps there isn't a romantic ideal, just real life.


My mother adores Jean Kerr. I read at least a couple of her books as a child (who read most of what my mom did). Somehow, I always chalked Kerr up as one of those terribly obscure things that only my mother knows about. Thanks for this post, Lisa. I plan to refresh my memory -- I think I'll appreciate Kerr more at 31 than I did at 9!


Because I always wondered about that crazy house of hers, I used the Power of the Innernets to explore a bit and found this:
complete with link to slideshow. It's just as nutty and glorious as she described. I hope they got the 4.9 mil for it - seems like a bargain to me. (Not that I could afford such a bargain. But you know.)


Thanks for the links, I think it's safe to safe my productivity levels at work are going to be low this morning...

Dave Smith

Jean Kerr has a lot of tremendously witty material, and many of her quotes fly around, however largely unattributed. I actually only stumbled onto her material, after we discovered that the house we bought was in fact the one that she grew up in here in Scranton, PA (before Larchmont), though she and husband Walter returned on occasion - and from there, we rediscovered Please Don't Eat The Daisies, Mary, Mary, and quite a few of her other works and along with it, rediscovered her wonderful sarcastic wit. Great stuff!

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