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Erma Bombeck Books In Order

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Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Forever, Erma (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Erma Bombeck Collection (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Erma Bombeck, Her Funniest Moments From "At Wit's End" (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries What Am I Doing in the Pits? (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Aunt Erma's Cope Book - How to Get From Monday to Friday in 12 Days (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Just Wait Till You Have Children of Your Own! (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Grass Is Always Greener Over The Septic Tank (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Motherhood The Second Oldest Profession (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Seven (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Four of a Kind: A Suburban Field Guide (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
At Wit's End (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Laugh along with Bombeck (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ties That Bind and Gag (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
I Want to Grow Hair, I Want to Grow Up, I Want to Go to Boise (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best of Bombeck (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Marriage Made in Heaven or Too Tired for an Affair (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
All I Know About Animal Behavior I Learned In Loehmann's Dressing Room (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It's Time to Go Home (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eat Less Cottage Cheese and More Ice Cream (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
When God Created Mothers (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Cookbooks

Mud Pies and Silver Spoons (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon

Erma Bombeck was an American author who garnered a reputation for writing humorous articles that chronicled her exploits as a housewife and mother. While she eventually transitioned to book writing, it was for her columns that the author was best known.

Erma Bombeck was born in 1927 in Bellbrook, Ohio to Erma Haines and Cassius Fiste. A considerable portion of her young life was spent in Dayton. She also had a bevy of memories associated with her paternal half-sister with whom she lived.

The author’s childhood immediately marked her out as a writer in the making. Not only did she start elementary school earlier than expected but her reading habit kicked in soon after.

The death of her father in 1936 caused a few disruptions, this including forcing the family to migrate to her grandmother’s place. But Erma’s education did not suffer drastically and she was always an excellent student.

Her love for the arts manifested even before she got to high school. By the time Erma started Junior High, she was enthusiastic about singing and dancing. Her entry into Junior High gave her the opportunity to put her writing skills to the test.

She contributed columns to the school newspaper (The Owl) and she was able to do the same for Parker Vocational High School’s own newspaper. Though she initially dabbled in humor, the author began to wade into more serious waters when she secured a position at the Dayton Herald.

She probably counted her interview with Shirley Temple among the highlights of her time as a copygirl at the publication. She would go on to fill numerous roles at the Dayton Herald, with the most notable including stenographer and typist.

And her work wasn’t restricted to that one publication. Once she had saved enough money, Erma joined Ohio University (Athens, Ohio). Because of her prior journalistic experience, the author did not expect to encounter much of a challenge in her new endeavor.

But Ohio University surprisingly gave Erma her first true stumble. Not only did her literary assignments overwhelm her but the university’s newspaper had no interest in employing her skills.

By the time the author’s money ran out at the end of her first semester and she was forced to leave, Erma Bombeck was more than ready to try her luck elsewhere.

Life eventually took her to the University of Dayton. She had to take a job at a department store to get by. She also worked for an advertising agency. Her publishing prospects did not look particularly great at the time.

If it wasn’t for Tom price, her English Professor in college, she might have permitted her writing abilities to dissipate. Tom was the one who saw her work and told her that she had the makings of a great writer.

Erma took those words to heart and began to contribute articles to ‘The Exponent’, her university student publication. The University of Dayton continued to have a significant impact on her life over the next several years and decades.

At some point, Erma converted to Catholicism and married Bill Bombeck who also attended the University of Dayton. At the time, while Erma Bombeck had written extensively as a journalist, she hadn’t attracted much renown.

So it made sense for the author to abandon her career in the 1950s when she and her husband decided to adopt a girl. Erma and Bill brought Betsy into the fold because they were told they couldn’t have a child.

This was eventually proven false. The couple conceived two sons in the years that followed. During that time, even with her efforts firmly focused on raising her children, Erma found the time to contribute humorous articles to magazines.

By the time the author went back to work, she was able to command large sums for her columns, some of which got so popular they went into national syndication, transforming Erma Bombeck into one of the most popular columnists in the country.

She made numerous radio appearances even as the likes of ‘Reader’s Digest’, and ‘Good Housekeeping Magazine’ began to publish her works. In the 1970s, the author made a few television appearances that should have marked her foray into the television making business.

But the show she tried to write and produce failed to gain traction amongst viewers so she abandoned that path. Though, she continued to make regular appearances on ‘Good Morning America’.

Besides her literary success, her articles and columns and the books she eventually wrote, Erma was an enthusiastic activist who frequently advocated for Equality for Women.

Her death came in 1996, the result of a kidney disease with which she was diagnosed when she was 20. Some people were aware of her fight with cancer and the mastectomy she had to endure.

But the kidney disease and her dialysis she kept a secret. Despite receiving a kidney transplant, she succumbed to complications during the operation.

+At Wit’s End
Erma Bombeck started writing a column titled ‘At Wit’s End’ in 1965. She had just resumed her writing career. At the start, she did most of her writing from her bedroom at home.

The column ‘Kettering-Oakwood Times’ gave her earned her only a few dollars a week. But then the Dayton Journal Herald saw her talent, swooped in and gave her a much bigger column for even more money.

The two articles she wrote every week made her a national sensation practically overnight. Her two columns grew to three and were titled ‘At Wit’s End’. Over the years, the author accumulated so many articles that they were eventually compiled and published as the book ‘At Wit’s End’.

The book tells funny stories about family life. Because ‘At Wit’s End’ was published in 1965, some of the humor and the stories will sound dated to some people.

+Forever, Erma
Erma Bombeck wrote and published thousands of newspaper columns over her lengthy career. ‘Forever, Erma’ is an anthology featuring some of her best works. The book features humorously written anecdotes designed to compel women to laugh at themselves.

Erma tells stories that both housewives and working mothers will appreciate, though some readers might criticize her for pushing certain stereotypes.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Erma Bombeck

One Response to “Erma Bombeck”

  1. Janiska: 11 months ago

    Loved Emma. Great writer.


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