Phantom at Fifty


Nov|Dec 2011 Contents
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FILM Nazis and their hunters. Elusive Justice

MUSIC Concert and CD highlight young Penn composers

BOOKS Norton Juster Ar’52’s The Phantom Tollbooth turns 50

BOOKS In the diamond district. Precious Objects

PHILANTHROPY “Monty” Foundation will support student artists



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When we spoke with Norton Juster Ar’52 eight years ago [“Alumni Profiles,” Jan|Feb 2004], he said: “Somebody asked me, ‘Did you know when the book was published that it would last for 40 years?’ I said, ‘I didn’t know it would last for 40 minutes!’”

Juster was referring to his classic children’s book, The Phantom Tollbooth, which last month celebrated another milestone: its 50th birthday. Illustrated by Jules Feiffer, the story of a boy named Milo and his strange and pun-packed adventures became an instant classic, one that has aced the bottom-line test of time.

To mark the occasion, Random House has published a 50th-anniversary edition that includes a preface by Juster; essays by authors, educators, and artists; photos of Juster and Feiffer; and an essay by Maurice Sendak that appeared in the 35th anniversary edition. There’s also an annotated edition that includes an introduction and notes by Leonard Marcus, interviews with Juster and Feiffer (including some of Feiffer’s original notes and drafts), and more.

Oh, and by the way: the 82-year-old Juster has written yet another children’s book: Neville, which the publisher describes as a “simply told story about a boy who moves to a new neighborhood and finds a unique way to make friends.”

Thankfully, some people never grow up.—S.H.
©2011 The Pennsylvania Gazette
Last modified 10/28/11