How Did I Get Here?: A Memoir (Hardcover)
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From his hardscrabble post-World War II Ontario childhood and coming of age to Mad Men-era New York City and the creative pinnacle of advertising, to the hallowed halls of Saturday Night Live and The New Yorker, Bruce McCall’s personal and creative journey is stunningly honest, bittersweet, and, above all, inspiring.
Beloved for his strikingly original and wickedly perceptive New Yorker covers, as well as his many Shouts and Murmurs, Bruce is a rare double threat as an artist and writer. Self-taught in both disciplines, his artistic world has captured the imagination of a loyal fan base that includes no less than David Letterman (whom he coauthored a book with) and other satire aficionados. Pulling no punches, How Did I Get Here? chronicles the evolution of his artistic genius as well as his journey from gifted childhood scribbler to passionate automobile enthusiast, a hobby that took him to the heights of the Detroit and Manhattan advertising worlds. His long-held passion for drawing and writing, which mostly lay dormant during his Mad Men days, reemerged later in life as he left the realm of advertising for the world of arts and letters, most notably at the National Lampoon, as a writer for Saturday Night Live in its first incarnation, and then of course at The New Yorker, as well as other Conde Nast magazines, such as Vanity Fair. His is an unorthodox life and career path, traversing through worlds that have now become iconic, giving us rich first-hand insight into Bruce's unique creative development and process, and providing a rare window into both the highs and the lows that define an artist's career and life.
With wit, candor, and cover illustrations showcasing Bruce's storied career, Bruce McCall’s memoir will charm his many fans and anyone who knows and loves the places and eras he describes so well.
About the Author
Bruce McCall began his career in a commercial art studio, switched to journalism and then advertising, and began writing and painting humorous subjects in the seventies, first with National Lampoon and ultimately for The New Yorker. McCall has published six previous books, including This Land Was Made for You and Me (But Mostly Me) in collaboration with David Letterman. He lives in New York City.
“A comic hero of several generations, Bruce McCall celebrates the memoir with humor, self-deprecation, and an occasional twist of the knife.”
—Steve Martin, actor, comedian, and author of Born Standing Up
“How Did I Get Here? is a deeply moving book about what it means to be an artist. It’s much more than learning your craft. It’s about realizing that you are going to have to invent your own language to say what you have to say. Bruce McCall has invented an entire McCallian world to do just that, and we are so lucky he did.”
—Roz Chast, author of Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?
“The story of Bruce McCall's life is sad, funny, elegant and uplifting, all expressed with ease and grace. I’ve been in love with his writing and art since I was a normal aged person and believe he is the master, unequalled. Please don’t miss this opportunity to bask in his greatness. Try to reconcile his early days with the genius he is. Bruce McCall towers above mortals.”
“Bruce McCall is the visionary behind some of the funniest creations in comedy history, and How Did I Get Here? is his crowning achievement. At a time when millions of us wish we could flee to Canada, taking up residence in this Canadian genius’s alternate reality is an even better escape.”
—Andy Borowitz, author of The Borowitz Report
“There has never been a writer-artist-humorist remotely like Bruce McCall, who has been displaying his brilliant (and often bizarre) creative intelligence in the pages and on the covers of the New Yorker for the past 40 years. You might ask, how could a high school dropout from a supremely dysfunctional family, with no formal training of any kind, reach such heights? Read his engaging, surprising (and, of course, frequently hilarious) memoir, and you’ll come to understand that genius can emerge in the strangest ways.”
—Daniel Okrent, author of Last Call and The Guarded Gate
“This book saved my life. I’d rather not go into the details.”
—Patricia Marx, co-author of You Can Only Yell at Me for One Thing at a Time
“An affable memoir from the New Yorker cover artist and humorist... With potent affection and deadpan candor, McCall chronicles the struggles of his younger self, and his bemusement at ideas he'd once thought were ingenious is charming… [he] unfurls his memories with a raconteur's colorful flourishes… A leisurely diversion packed with insight and knowing panache.”