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Strange Bright Blooms: A History of Cut Flowers
by Randy Malamud
Reaktion Books, 2021
eISBN: 978-1-78914-421-5 | Cloth: 978-1-78914-401-7

Virginia Woolf famously began one of her greatest novels: “Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.” Of course she would: why would anyone surrender the best part of the day to someone else? Flowers grace our lives at moments of celebration and despair. “We eat, drink, sing, dance, and flirt with them,” writes Kakuzo Okakura. Flowers brighten our homes, our parties, and our rituals with incomparable notes of natural beauty, but the “nature” in these displays is tamed and conscribed. Randy Malamud seeks to understand the transplanted nature of cut flowers—of our relationship with them and the careful curation of their very existence. It is a picaresque, unpredictable ramble through the world of flowers, but also the world itself, exploring painting, murals, fashion, public art, glass flowers, pressed flowers, flowery church hats, weaponized flowers, deconstructed flowers, flower power, and much more.

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