The Book of the Week is “Al Jaffee’s Mad Life: A Biography” by Mary-Lou Weisman, published in 2010.
This book describes the life of the oldest of four sons of neglectful parents. Fortunately, that son had a marketable, incredible talent that allowed him to live a decent life as an adult.
When Jaffee was six years old, in 1927, his mother decided to take her sons from Savannah, Georgia, back with her to a shtetl in an increasingly anti-Semitic Lithuania. The family– absent the father, who stayed in the United States, scrounging out a living as a part-time postal worker– went back and forth between their new and old countries a few times, causing emotional upheaval for all involved.
Read the book to learn the details of Jaffee’s unstable childhood and how he parlayed his experience with hardship into a successful career in cartooning.