James Thurber

James Thurber (1894-1961) was born in Columbus, Ohio. After dropping out of college, he became a successful reporter, first for The Columbus Dispatch and later for the New York Evening Post. In 1927, after rejecting countless submissions, The New Yorker published one of Thurber’s short pieces. Not long after, he met E.B. White, who helped him get a job as an editor there; White also encouraged Thurber to use his own drawings to illustrate his first book, the best-selling satire Is Sex Necessary? Thurber didn’t last long in his editorial job, but he continued publishing sketches and “Talk of the Town” pieces for The New Yorker until his death. Among his nearly forty books are The Owl in the Attic, Fables for Our Time, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and A Thurber Carnival, which was adapted for the stage, winning a Tony Award in 1960. Thurber also wrote five books for children: Many Moons (1943), a Caldecott Honor Book; The Great Quillow (1944); The White Deer (1945); The 13 Clocks (1950); and The Wonderful O (1957).

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    The Wonderful O

    A thoroughly uproarious Thurberian experiment with language and a warning to those who would try to tame it. Two pirates conquer an island and attempt to purge it of the odious letter O. Cnfusin reigns, and chas—until the islanders decide to get their vowel back.

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    The 13 Clocks

    Satirist Thurber takes on the fairy tale and the results are captivating. “There are spys, monsters, betrayals, hair’s-breadth escapes, spells to be broken and all the usual accouterments, but Thurber gives the proceedings his own particular deadpan spin.” —Los Angeles Times