My Dog Tulip by J.R. Ackerley
(New York Review Books Classics)

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Synopsis

The distinguished British man of letters J. R. Ackerley hardly thought of himself as a dog lover when, well into middle age, he came into possession of a German shepherd. To his surprise, she turned out to be the love of his life, the “ideal friend” he had been searching for in vain for years. My Dog Tulip is a bittersweet retrospective account of their sixteen-year companionship, as well as a profound and subtle meditation on the strangeness that lies at the heart of all relationships. In vivid and sometimes startling detail, Ackerley tells of Tulip’s often erratic behavior and very canine tastes, and of his own fumbling but determined efforts to ensure for her an existence of perfect happiness.

Paul and Sandra Fierlinger’s animated feature film of My Dog Tulip, starring Christopher Plummer, Lynn Redgrave, and Isabella Rossellini, was released in 2010.
 

About J.R. Ackerley

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J. R. Ackerley (1896-1967) was for many years the literary editor of the BBC magazine The Listener. His works include three memoirs, Hindoo Holiday, My Dog Tulip, and My Father and Myself, and a novel, We Think the World of You (all available as New York Review Books). Eliot Weinberger’s most recent book is the essay collection Oranges & Peanuts for Sale.
 
Published November 30, 2011 by NYRB Classics. 212 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences, Gay & Lesbian. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for My Dog Tulip

The New York Times

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MY DOG TULIP. By J. R. Ackerley. 160 pages. Poseidon Press. $7.95. Virginia Woolf wrote a biography of Flush, Elizabeth Barrett Browning's cocker spaniel. And John Steinbeck wrote a book about traveling across America with his French poodle Charley. Lesser known - to Americans, at least - is...

Dec 20 1986 | Read Full Review of My Dog Tulip (New York Review...

The Guardian

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My Dog Tulip Production year: 2009 Country: USA Cert (UK): 12A Runtime: 83 mins Directors: Paul Fierlinger, Sandra Fierlinger Cast: Christopher Plummer, Isabella Rossellini, Lynn Redgrave ...

May 05 2011 | Read Full Review of My Dog Tulip (New York Review...

The Guardian

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In its companion piece, My Dog Tulip, published in 1956, Queenie is called Tulip (Ackerley's many gay friends thought the Alsatian's real name would raise titters) and it has been made into an exquisite animated film by the American husband and wife team of Paul and Sandra Fierlinger.

May 01 2011 | Read Full Review of My Dog Tulip (New York Review...

Publishers Weekly

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British man-of-letters Joe Randolph Ackerley's (1896-1967) oddly affecting portrait of his pet German shepherd, a high-strung dog named Tulip, is considered a classic of animal--human relationships.

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Los Angeles Times

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Ackerley's feckless sister Nancy (voiced by the late Lynn Redgrave in her last released film) tries to steal the dog's affections, and Ackerley's other friends never invite Tulip over twice.

Oct 22 2010 | Read Full Review of My Dog Tulip (New York Review...

Open Letters Monthly

Tulip was delightful, and won’t disappoint fans of the book, animation enthusiasts, or dog lovers.

Sep 12 2010 | Read Full Review of My Dog Tulip (New York Review...

Open Letters Monthly

Or more like a city block long—Tulip is one of those books that I think appeals not just to dog owners, but to urban dog owners in particular.

Jan 05 2010 | Read Full Review of My Dog Tulip (New York Review...

PopMatters

Before proceeding with an actual review of My Dog Tulip, it seems only appropriate to acknowledge and share the concerns many may have about an animated dog movie.

Mar 22 2012 | Read Full Review of My Dog Tulip (New York Review...

Boston.com

Amid explorations of Tulip’s incontinence that lead to various veterinarians — the most tolerant of them speaks with Isabella Rossellini’s voice — the movie devotes a long, concluding passage to Joe’s attempts to mate his dog.

Oct 15 2010 | Read Full Review of My Dog Tulip (New York Review...

The New Yorker

How a writer discovered his greatest subject.

Feb 07 2011 | Read Full Review of My Dog Tulip (New York Review...

The New York Review of Books

The Fierlingers’ film is a delicious retelling of Ackerley’s familiar story, which Christopher Isherwood described as “one of the greatest masterpieces of animal literature.” In celebration of the film’s release, NYRB Classics has reissued My Dog Tulip with a new cover image featuring the ani...

Aug 24 2010 | Read Full Review of My Dog Tulip (New York Review...

The New York Review of Books

The book was described by Ackerley himself as “a fairytale for adults.” Hindoo Holiday Hindoo Holiday is an intimate and very funny account of an exceedingly strange place, and one of the masterpieces of twentieth-century travel literature.

Feb 08 2012 | Read Full Review of My Dog Tulip (New York Review...

The New York Review of Books

Powers, The Boston Globe To dog lovers, by the way, I recommend My Dog Tulip by J.

Aug 24 2010 | Read Full Review of My Dog Tulip (New York Review...

Spirituality & Practice

Ackerley published My Dog Tulip — a smart and sassy account of his wonderful 16-year relationship with an Alsatian (German Shepherd dog) that was called "one of the greatest books ever written by anybody in the world" by the literary bon vivant Truman Capote.

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Slant Magazine

Not even a wink to it, and yet there's still something unmistakably, poignantly queer about Ackerley's relationship to his dog: how she reserves for him the attention she refuses to lavish on the men of her own species, how she takes a dump on his floor for the first and only time in her life aft...

Aug 30 2010 | Read Full Review of My Dog Tulip (New York Review...

Star Pulse

Summary:Producer Norman Twain spearheads this independent animated film adapted from British author J.R.

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Independent Weekly

The music, too, is period and often cheeky, particularly a number that accompanies a scene of dogs engaging in that most important of social rituals, mutual ass-sniffing: "I'll sniff yours if you sniff mine," goes the choral arrangement.

Dec 08 2010 | Read Full Review of My Dog Tulip (New York Review...

Reader Rating for My Dog Tulip
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