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May 7 @ 8:00 pm
Brian Jay Jones
More than 80 years after Theodor Geisel, who wrote and illustrated under the penname Dr. Seuss, published his first children’s book, and 25 years after his death, his books continue to resonate with readers of all ages. According to Publishers Weekly, 1 in 4 new readers select a Dr. Seuss book for their first reading experience. Movies based on his work, like The Grinch, regularly inspire new generations of fans to pick up his books. Nearly three decades after his death, his final work, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! remains a perennial bestseller. This May, Brian Jay Jones brings readers the definitive and fascinating biography of Geisel in BECOMING DR. SEUSS: Theodor Geisel and the Making of an American Imagination (Dutton; $32).
BECOMING DR. SEUSS is an all-encompassing look into Geisel’s life and his gradual evolution from an ad man and editorial cartoonist to the writer and illustrator of bestselling children’s books like Fox in Socks and Green Eggs and Ham. Readers get a true sense of the man behind the pseudonym as he meticulously creates beloved characters like Horton the elephant and the tree- loving Lorax, and turns children’s reading primers upside down with the groundbreaking The Cat in the Hat. But Jones does not shy away from controversy, as he examines racial stereotypes in Geisel’s early works, details his fractious working relationships with other children’s authors, and discusses the traumatic suicide of Geisel’s wife.
Brian Jay Jones is a biographer with as much passion for telling stories as he has for the people he profiles. With his previous books, George Lucas and Jim Henson, he has established himself as a master profiler of creative geniuses, providing new insights on iconic figures many assume there’s nothing left to learn about.
BECOMING DR. SEUSS shows that Geisel, who was also awarded a Pulitzer Prize, is a complex figure deserving of a comprehensive biography, having introduced generations to the wonders of reading with his simple rhymes and whimsical illustrations that continue to give readers of all ages joy. I hope you’ll consider coverage in your Spring pages.
About the Author:
Brian Jay Jones is the critically-acclaimed, bestselling biographer of three books on some of the world’s most iconic creative figures, including Jim Henson: The Biography and George Lucas: A Life. For nearly three decades, he has served as a speechwriter for elected officials at all levels of government, including ten years in the United States Senate.
Brian currently lives in Virginia with his wife and a very excitable dog.