Bookshelf    The Floral Ghost

The Floral Ghost

By Susan Orlean, Philip Taaffe (Planthouse, Inc., 2016) Buy It Now

This lovely little book combines a graceful essay by Columbia County resident Susan Orlean (The Orchid Thief) with silkscreen monoprints by acclaimed artist Philip Taaffe, whose brightly colored geometric blossoms splash across whole pages or interweave with text. Orlean recalls relocating from the Midwest to New York City when the metropolis  “still rumbled with manufacturing and trades,” among them the wholesale Flower District. She describes coming out of the subway wide-eyed to find “a quiver of green,” and walking amid wind-tossed palm fronds, nodding orchids, bunched sunflowers, roses, and lucky bamboo. “They would be made into something singular and beautiful for someone, and it might last just a moment, as so many beautiful and singular things do, but the image of it, flower and leaf, would last,” she writes. The same can be said of this vivid collaboration.