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78-25 The Dog That Bit People

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Marker Details

Title, side A
James Thurber
Title, side B
91 Jefferson Avenue
91 Jefferson Avenue
Columbus, Novelists

Picture Details

The Dog That Bit People
The Dog That Bit People is the story of Columbus native James Thurber's Airedale Terrier Muggs, the worst of the many pet dogs he had during his lifetime. Not only did Muggs bite family members, neighbors, and salesmen, he also bit a congressman and Lieutenant-Governor Malloy while they were visiting Thurber's father. The family gave boxes of candy at Christmas to all those the dog had bitten during the previous year. The story was published on pages 92 to 109 of My Life and Hard Times, published in 1933, which is 153 pages in length and measures 5.5" x 8" (13.97 x 21.32 cm). It includes three humorous drawings. Thurber's father, who had dreams of being an actor or lawyer, was said to have been the basis of the typical small, slight man of Thurber's stories. Young James was partially blinded by a childhood accident--his brother William shot an arrow at him. When he was unable to participate in games and sports with other children, he developed a rich fantasy life, which would serve to inspire his later fiction. Between 1913 and 1918 he studied at The Ohio State University. He worked as a code clerk in Washington, D.C., and at the American embassy in Paris and as a journalist for the Chicago Tribune in Paris. In 1926 Thurber went to New York City, where he was a reporter for the Evening Post before joiningThe New Yorker, where he found his clear, concise prose style and where fifteen of his books first appeared. Thurber's wry humor showed great sensitivity to human fears and follies. Thurber's first book, Is Sex Necessary, appeared in 1929. The book presented Thurber's drawings as well and instantly established him as a true comedic talent. Thurber left The New Yorker in 1933, but remained a contributor. In the 1950s Thurber published modern fairy tales for children. His eyesight became worse in the 1940s, and by the 1950s his blindness was nearly total. Thurber continued to compose stories in his head, and he played himself in 88 performances of the play A Thurber Carnival (Om2903_024).