James Thurber, whimsical fantasist and deadpan chronicler of everyday absurdities, brought American humor into the 20th century. His comic persona, a modern citydweller whose zaniest flights of free association are tinged with anxiety, remains hilarious, subtly disturbing, and instantly recognizable. Here, in over 1000 pages, editor Garrison Keillor presents the best and most extensive collection ever assembled. Over 100 pieces include “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and “The Catbird Seat,” the brilliantly satirical Fables for Our Time, the classic My Life and Hard Times, and the best of The Owl in the Attic, Let Your Mind Alone!, My World—And Welcome to It, and the other famous books. Plus 500 wonderful drawings, including The Seal in the Bedroom and celebrated sequences like “The Masculine Approach” and “The War Between Men and Women.” Rounding out the volume is a selection from The Years with Ross, a memoir of the New Yorker publisher, and a number of wonderful early pieces never collected by Thurber.
The shy Midwesterner James Thurber became a famed cartoonist and humor writer almost, it seems, by accident: Thurber in person was often depressed and self-conscious, darker strains that emerge fitfully in his sly, absurdist work. Garrison Keillor, a sunnier brand of Midwestern humorist, has assembled four longer works with many of Thurber's drawings and short pieces for the Library of America edition of Thurber's selected works. Many of these cartoons and writings are now classics, and Thurber's edgy, modernist humor--not to mention his usually bewildered protagonists--has influenced many of the best cartoonists today.