Patricia Hampl’s most recent book is The Florist’s Daughter, winner of numerous “best” and “year end” awards, including the New York Times “100 Notable Books of the Year” and the 2008 Minnesota Book Award for Memoir and Creative Nonfiction. Blue Arabesque: A Search for the Sublime, published in 2006 and now in paperback, was also one of the Times Notable Books; a portion was chosen for The Best Spiritual Writing 2005.
Patricia Hampl first won recognition for A Romantic Education, her memoir about her Czech heritage, awarded a Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship. This book and subsequent works have established her as an influential figure in the rise of autobiographical writing in the past 25 years.
She is the author as well of two collections of poetry, Woman before an Aquarium, and Resort and Other Poems. And she has published Spillville, a meditation on Antonin Dvorak’s 1893 summer in Iowa, with engravings by Steven Sorman. Virgin Time, about her Catholic upbringing and an inquiry into contemplative life, is available in a recent paperback.
“Memoir is trustworthy and its truth assured when it seeks the relation of self to time, the piecing of the shards of personal experience into the starscape of history’s night. The materials of memoir are humble, fugitive, a cottage knitting industry seeking narrative truth across the crevasse of time as autobiography folds itself into the vast, fluid essay that is history. A single voice singing its aria in a corner of the crowded world.” (Patricia Hampl)