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The World of William Steig


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ISBN 10: 1885183976 / ISBN 13: 9781885183972
Published by Artisan, New York, 1998
From Main Street Fine Books & Mss, ABAA (Galena, IL, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Introduction by John Updike. Square 4to. Black cloth, pictorial dust jacket. 207pp. Color frontispiece, numerous illustrations (some color), pictorial endpapers. Fine/near fine. Superb, tight first edition of this large gathering of the "New Yorker" cartoonist's work. Bookseller Inventory # 36217

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The World of William Steig

Publisher: Artisan, New York

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


William Steig, the godfather of New Yorker cartoonists, began his career at the magazine in 1930. After achieving acclaim with his gang of street urchins, affectionately nicknamed the "Small Fry," he branched out, exploring through his drawings the psychological undercurrents in relationships between parent and child, husband and wife, self and society. In such groundbreaking collections as About People (1939), Persistent Faces (1945), and The Agony in the Kindergarten (1950), Steig laid bare the raw insecurities of childhood. In the process, he introduced symbolic art to mainstream audiences and permanently elevated the place of the cartoon in American culture.

Beginning in the 1960s, Steig demonstrated his understanding and awe of children in numerous award-winning picture books, including such classics as Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (1970 Caldecott Medal), Dominic (1972), Gorky Rises (1980), Doctor De Soto (1982 Newberry Award), and Shrek! (1990)—now a major motion picture. His thirteenth book for children, Pete’s a Pizza, was published in 1998.


Anyone who loves William Steig--dean of the New Yorker cartoonists and Caldecott-winning creator of Sylvester and the Magic Pebble and dozens of other children's books--will adore Lee Lorenz's gorgeous, 207-page, oversized book The World of William Steig. Lorenz, art editor of the New Yorker from 1973 to 1993, and its cartoon editor until 1997, brings an insider's point of view and an engaging writing style to this fascinating, truly historical tribute to his colleague. Pulitzer Prize-winning John Updike contributes an introduction that's sure to spark the interest of even the most Steig-deprived among us:

Such a compilation serves to celebrate an original who has endured, who has taken his talent in one direction after another and found new territory deep into his old age. Steig's art is not just testimony to his love of life but robust evidence of the necessary interaction between art and life, reality and fantasy.
Featuring hundreds of color and black-and-white illustrations, including a portfolio of previously unpublished pieces selected by Steig himself, this rich book traces the life and artistic development of this funny, wise, talented man in the following chapters: A Family Album; At The New Yorker; Symbolic Art; The Years with Shawn; The Artist's Hand; and Through the Eyes of a Child. The book closes with Wordplay; Heroes, Villains, and Happy Endings; Epilogue; Acknowledgments; Bibliography; Featured Art; and an index. Contented browsers will find absorbing details of Steig's childhood in the Bronx, his cartooning days, his symbolist art, and his burgeoning, late-blooming interest in (and talent for) creating books for children. As Maurice Sendak says of the master, "Steig's infectious delight in rich, subtle storytelling, combined with a graphic style both simple and hilarious, has produced a body of work that remains astonishingly fresh and original. There is no school of Bill Steig. There is only Bill Steig." No Steig fan should be without this marvelous celebration of his life's work. --Karin Snelson

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Main Street Fine Books & Manuscripts has been buying and selling quality books, autographs and ephemera since 1991. We specialize in general antiquarian, first editions, signed books and autographs and documents. We are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), Midwest Antiquarian Booksellers Association (MWABA), Universal Autograph Collectors Club (UACC) and The Manuscript Society.

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