DEIRDRE BAIR received 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. Her biographies of Simone de Beauvoir and Anais Nin were chosen by The New York Times as Best Book of the Year (Beauvoir) and Notable Book of the Year (Nin).
A New York Times Notable Book of 2012
"Gripping and revelatory ... There is much that is new in Bair's book, and Steinberg emerges from her account as a paradigmatic 20th-century exile and traveler, crossing and recrossing fixed boundary lines in both his life and his work ... Steinberg certainly produced his share of classics, and in the process he helped pave the way for a culture of boundary-blurrers ... He showed that literature can be created without using a single sentence."
--Deborah Solomon, The New York Times Book Review "A meticulously researched and soberly written portrait revealing an artist whose personality was both more troubled and more troubling than his fans would have ever imagined ... A tour de force of biographical craftsmanship."
--The Wall Street Journal "The pre-eminent New Yorker cartoonist leads a life worthy of his own ironic art in this scintillating biography ... Steinberg emerges as a tangle of neurotic contradictions ... Bair's long and amply researched biography unfolds in a graceful prose that's stocked with absurdist scenes and colorful characters ... Her breezy writing works subtly and slyly to unearth psychological depths beneath that amusing surface of the Steinbergian picaresque."
--Publishers Weekly, starred and boxed review "With this enthralling and exhaustive biography, Deirdre Bair traces the first complete portrait of the private, astringent (and now formerly) inscrutable artist/cartoonist in a nonjudgmental manner, all the while gaping at the famous friendships, expansive career, and, most surprisingly, messy affairs that Steinberg so peripatetically and painfully inhabited. Steinberg was not only the most 'twentieth century' of twentieth century artists, but also one of the most flabbergasting."
--Chris Ware, cartoonist "Does his reading Huck Finn in an Italian concentration camp, his belief that Cyrillic 'looks like sneezes, ' his TV commercial for Jell-O, or the hunch that Mickey Mouse was black explain Saul Steinberg? Not entirely, but Deirdre Bair does the rest, in her sensitive, stylish portrait of an American original. A rich, sparkling joy of a book."
--Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra "The definitive portrait of an illustrator, an artist, who created some of the defining images of the 20th Century. Bair has written the enchanting and illuminating biography that Steinberg always deserved."
--Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of Van Gogh: The Life "I thought I knew Saul Steinberg, yet in Deirdre Bair's biography I learned of the extraordinary life, replete with his most intimate musings, this guardedly private man lived. It brought back the unique wit and humanism that make Steinberg one of the towering creative forces of the 20th Century."
--Fran oise Mouly, Art Editor, The New Yorker "[Full of] fresh revelations ... A comprehensive and engaging biography."
--The Boston Globe