Catch-22, Phantom Tollbooth & Maus

Thumbnail image for S&S Classic Catch-22.jpgThere seems to be a lot of media coverage of book anniversaries this past week. Perhaps closest to my heart is the fiftieth anniversary of Catch-22 this week. This novel is easily in my top ten. When I worked in the book publishing business in the late nineties, I supervised a “classic edition” of it, which afforded me the great honor of corresponding with Heller a few times. The reprint itself is nothing special--a hardcover with deckled edges, and the dust jacket features a serial design--but my personal copy is warmly inscribed to me from Heller. Can’t beat that.

The Phantom Tollbooth is also celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, as anyone who has read our fall feature, “Fe Fi Fo Feiffer,” will know. There’s a new 50th anniversary edition out, as well as an Annotated Phantom Tollbooth by Leonard S. Marcus, who wrote our feature. In this week’s New Yorker, Adam Gopnik spends some time with Jules Feiffer and Norton Juster to talk about their collaboration fifty years later.

Art Spiegelman’s Maus is about to celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary (it was originally published in two parts, one in 1986, the other in 1991*), and his new book, MetaMaus, is making headlines. It’s an analysis of Maus, its format, and its history. Publishers Weekly has a great interview with Spiegelman about the intersection of books, art, and technology. In it Spiegelman says, “...while bookstores are all in a tizzy, one of the more lively and alive sections is the so-called “graphic novel” section, because those are harder to replace.” Dead on.

*A previous version of this article misidentified the date of the first publication of Maus as 1992. That was the year it won the Pulitzer Prize. --Ed.
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