Backing Into Forward by Jules Feiffer
A Memoir

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Synopsis

The award-winning cartoonist, playwright, and author delivers a witty, illustrated rendition of his life, from his childhood as a wimpy kid in the Bronx to his legendary career in the arts.

 A gifted storyteller who has delighted readers and theater audiences for decades, Jules Feiffer now turns his talents to the tale of his own life.

 Plagued by learning problems, a controlling mother, and a debilitating sense of fear, Feiffer embarked on his first cartoon apprenticeship at the age of seventeen, emboldened only by a passion for success and an aptitude for failure. He vividly recalls those transformative years working under the legendary Will Eisner, and later, after he was drafted into the army, his evolution from “smart-ass kid into an enraged satirist.” Backing into Forward also traces Feiffer's love life, from a doomed hitchhiking trip to reclaim his high-school sweetheart to losing his virginity in Greenwich Village, and his road to marriage and fatherhood.

 At the center of this journey is Feiffer's prolific creativity. In dazzling detail, he recounts the birth of his subversive graphic novella Munro, his entrée into New York's literary salons, collaborations with film greats Mike Nichols, Robert Altman, and Jack Nicholson, and other major turning points. Brimming with wry punch lines, slices of Americana, and pithy social commentary, Backing into Forward charts Feiffer's rise as an unlikely and incisive provocateur during the conformist fifties and the Vietnam and Civil Rights sixties and seventies.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Jules Feiffer

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JULES FEIFFER's Pulitzer Prize-winning comic strip ran for forty-two years in the Village Voice and one hundred other papers. He also penned the Obie Award-winning play Little Murders and the screenplay for Carnal Knowledge. He lives in New York City.
 
Published March 10, 2010 by Knopf Group E-Books. 464 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Comics & Graphic Novels, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Backing Into Forward

Kirkus Reviews

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With chapter heads like “Lucking Into The Zeitgeist” and “Heckle and Jeckel [sic] Meet Mike and Elaine,” Feiffer retraces his career from a post–World War II apprenticeship in the studio of the legendary Will Eisner and the beginnings of a decades-long association with the Village Voice, to his e...

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The New York Times

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Kennedy that the nation was on the brink of a colossal “nervous breakdown,” that it was headed to a place where educators would be unable “to educate, leaders unable and unqualified to lead, parents unable or unqualified to establish beliefs and boundaries for their children.” As a boy Mr. Feiff...

Mar 17 2010 | Read Full Review of Backing Into Forward: A Memoir

The New York Times

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He began to observe the famous in their native habitat and noticed some of their odd folkways, including Woody Allen’s: “Woody hid away from people, as you might expect from a shy person, but he hid conspicuously, like at the head table at Elaine’s.” The decades go whooshing by as Feiffer become...

Mar 18 2010 | Read Full Review of Backing Into Forward: A Memoir

Publishers Weekly

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Playboy ), novels (Ackroyd ) and plays (Little Murders ) to children's books (Bark ;

Nov 30 2009 | Read Full Review of Backing Into Forward: A Memoir

The Washington Times

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Thanks to his daughters, he stumbled across “a joyously accidental career” as author of several children’s books that include “Bark, George” and “A Room With a Zoo.” He jokes, “The inspiration my children represent in terms of my present line of work is so overarching that I often mean to ask my ...

Jul 02 2010 | Read Full Review of Backing Into Forward: A Memoir

AV Club

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Jules Feiffer’s new memoir is the portrait of the cartoonist as a young man, growing up in the Bronx with an overbearing family, drafted against his will into the army, writing for the Broadway stage, and most of all, cartooning.

Apr 08 2010 | Read Full Review of Backing Into Forward: A Memoir

Los Angeles Times

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A comic-strip genius covers his political activism, creative process and more in a frank, delightful memoir.

Mar 14 2010 | Read Full Review of Backing Into Forward: A Memoir

The Washington Post

* * *.

May 19 2010 | Read Full Review of Backing Into Forward: A Memoir

Dallas News

After all, Feiffer has given us the.

Mar 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Backing Into Forward: A Memoir

Review (Barnes & Noble)

After becoming the pioneering cartoonist Will Eisner's assistant as a teenager, he drew a long-running, ferocious comic strip for the Village Voice (initially called "Sick, Sick, Sick," later just "Feiffer"), wrote a series of plays, novels and screenplays, and eventually settled into creating ch...

Mar 23 2010 | Read Full Review of Backing Into Forward: A Memoir

Bookmarks Magazine

The book brilliantly captures adolescent confusion and self-loathing, the ambitions and working life of an unconventional artist in an era uncertain about its arts, and the furies of a political radical who watched the United States descend into gloom, but--as a review in this paper remarked on t...

Mar 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Backing Into Forward: A Memoir

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