|About the Book|
On the lawns and porches, and in the living rooms and backyards of my threescore years, there have been more dogs, written and drawn, real and imaginary, than I had guessed before I started this roundup.Here is James Thurber, arguably the greatestMoreOn the lawns and porches, and in the living rooms and backyards of my threescore years, there have been more dogs, written and drawn, real and imaginary, than I had guessed before I started this roundup.Here is James Thurber, arguably the greatest humorist of the twentieth century, on all things canine. In The Dog Department, Michael J. Rosen, a literary dogcatcher of sorts, has gathered together Thurbers best in show. Here we have the stylish prose and drawings from Thurbers Dogs (which connected the words Thurber and Dog as inseparably as Bartlett and Quotation, as Emily Post and Etiquette), along with unpublished material from the Thurber archives, a great sheaf of uncollected cartoons, and two dozen Talk of the Town miniatures from The New Yorker -- the consummate dog book from an artist of extraordinary pedigree. What other author can claim to have penned his own personal breed? The Thurber hound is a creature as unmistakable as Disneys mouse or Playboys bunny.In The Dog Department youll find standard poodles, Scottish terriers, an Airedale, a rough collie, an American Staffordshire terrier -- all Thurber family members who inspired quintessential dog tales. For instance, theres Muggs, the dog that bit people, an avocation that, each year, required Thurbers mother to send her famous chocolates to an ever-growing list of Muggss victims. Theres also a fair share about bloodhounds, German shepherd dogs, and pugs. But what youll find remarkable and comforting is that reading Thurber from fifty or even seventy-five years ago is akin to reading about dogs today -- or about dogs from the previous century, as Thurber grew up reading -- or about dogs, we hope, from this new century weve just entered. The Dog Department is proof that Thurbers work defines the canine canon.