Between Worlds: The Autobiography of Leo Lionni
(Knopf, April 7, 1997)
Here, sumptuously illustrated, is a superbly written account of a remarkable life--a life spent divided between Europe and America, between art and commerce--by the famous artist, art director, and children's book author Leo Lionni.Born in Holland, half Jewish, raised in Amsterdam, Brussels, Genoa, Philadelphia--Lionni is a man of many languages and cultures but no real home. His story is one of a constant search, a search that takes him from an ideal early childhood to a strict education in Italy that proved largely irrelevant to his future, and then to exile from Fascist Italy in America; from being a highly political aspiring artist to becoming a highly successful advertising director (he invented the famous "Never underestimate the power of a woman" campaign) and a powerful force in the world of graphics as the art director of Fortune magazine; from life in the affluent commuter world of Connecticut to a return to Italy and the life of an artist. After all this--a full life by any account--he finds yet another successful vocation as the author and illustrator of children's books that have sold millions of copies throughout the world.Lionni tells his story--it encompasses his early romance and happy marriage, and his countless extraordinary friends and acquaintances--in the most elegant and persuasive prose, the kind of English that only a distinguished European can write. And since his story is also the story of a lifetime of creativity, throughout the book are examples, in color and black-and-white, of his remarkable body of work--painting, sculpture, ceramics, mosaics, photography, graphics, and, of course, illustration. This is an autobiography both of great intellectual and artistic sophistication and of large human appeal.