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Saul Steinberg: A Biography

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  28 ratings  ·  10 reviews
From National Book Award winner Deirdre Bair, the definitive biography of Saul Steinberg, one of The New Yorker's most iconic artists.

The issue date was March 29, 1976. The New Yorker cost 75 cents. And on the cover unfolded Saul Steinberg's vision of the world: New York City, the Hudson River, and then...well, it's really just a bunch of stuff you needn't concern yourself
ebook, 480 pages
Published November 20th 2012 by Nan A. Talese (first published January 1st 2012)
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Oh, this book is so long - it could have used a good (better) editor. We did get it - Steinberg knew every artist of note, and many authors too. But why do we have to hear in detail about every dinner party? On the other hand, Steinberg is an important and fabulous artist, born Jewish in Romania during WWI he never really "recovered" from the experience of being a Romanian Jew. Though Bair doesn't specify acts of anti-semitism experienced directly by Steinberg, the whole country and society was ...more
Fascinating biography, but even more fascinating as a chronology of books that Steinberg read and that influenced him (great reading suggestions here! if only everyone read so widely) and as the story of Steinberg's women--Ada, who supported him with sex and cash; Hedda, who supported him with maternal energy and cash; and Sigrid, who supported him as someone he could alternately control, fund, look down on, love, have sex with, and ultimately string along for years until her untimely death. It ...more
A thoughtful and thorough biography of an under-appreciated artist. I grew up seeing and often saving Steinberg cartoons in The New Yorker, and over the years have accumulated several of his books and catalogues. In college, I had his poster from Maeght in the 1960s. But I knew nothing about the artist whose drawings I admired.

This book gives a complete history of Saul Steinberg's complicated and often sad life. It seems that he knew everyone and had an impact on many. He was kind and generous
Douglas Florian
Having been a total Steinberg fan in high school, I looked forward to reading this. These 600 pages flew by, as Steinberg's life was rife with incident and notoriety. I was amazed at the depth of research Bair did, delving into every event of an eventful life, such as trekking with wife Hedda Stern to Utopia Parkway in Queens to visit Joseph Cornell. She also explored the psyche inside the rabbit's head, as Steinberg often depicted himself. It altered my perception of the man, but not of his art ...more
Bill Daniels
Steinberg is a marvelous artist. As a person, he is somewhat elusive when he is not being opaque.
Bill Wells
I loved Saul Steinberg as a kid in the sixties, but I didn't know much about his personal life. This book was quite a revelation in examining his many fabricated biographies and his lusty sexual appetites. In all I got the impression that fame and fortune never made him a happy man. Despite that, this book did examine how he worked (which seemed to be constantly), what his influences or interests were in relation to his art and his place in the art world of the time. A very interesting book.
Joe Meyers
Another amazing biography by National Book Award winner Deirdre Bair. She shows us the key role Saul Steinberg played in 20th century American art. The story behind the man who did the legendary view of America from Ninth Ave. cover of the New Yorker in 1976. Steinberg was a 'pop' artist long before Warhol & the list of people he knew from the art, film & literary worlds is awesome. Book is beautifully designed too - a strong argument for the book as physical object.
Ally Bolin
Bair is an excellent biographer. I am going to read her Beckett biography as soon as I can lay hands on it. Saul Steinberg was an amazing artist, a fascinating character, and a bit of a jerk. It is always tricky to read a biography about someone you admire. Despite the fact that he was pretty horrible to women and a neurotic mess, I will always appreciate his whimsical and erudite view of the world.
Karol M
He was a complicated guy, not the nicest toward women. You do get the feel of his drive, his passion for drawing, and his intense loneliness that seemed to plague him most of his adult life.
Lynn Kearney
4.5 This is a superb biography of the greatest of The New Yorker cartoonists. It made me aware of how much else he was and how much else he did.
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Deirdre Bair won the National Book Award for Samuel Beckett: A Biography. Her biographies of Simone de Beauvoir and Carl Jung were finalists for The Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Bairs biographies of Anais Nin and Simone de Beauvoir were chosen by The New York Times as "Best Books of the Year," and her biography of Jung won the Gradiva Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Psy ...more
More about Deirdre Bair...
Anaïs Nin: A Biography Simone de Beauvoir: A Biography Samuel Beckett Jung: A Biography Calling It Quits: Late-Life Divorce and Starting Over

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