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Princeton Architectural Press

Growing Up Underground: A Memoir of Counterculture New York

Growing Up Underground: A Memoir of Counterculture New York

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An entertaining coming-of-age memoir from Steven Heller, award-winning designer, writer, and former senior art director at the New York Times. Featuring 100 color photographs, Growing Up Underground takes readers on a visually inspired look back on being at the center of New York’s youth culture in the 1960s and 1970s.

Steven Heller’s memoir is no chronological trek through the hills and valleys of his comparatively “normal” life, but instead, a coming-of-age tale whereby, with luck and circumstance, he found himself in curious and remarkable places at critical times during the 1960s and ‘70s in New York City.

Heller’s delightful account of his life between the ages of 16 and 26 shows his ambitious journey from the start of his illustrious career as a graphic designer, cartoonist, and writer. Follow his journey through stints at the New York Review of Sex, Screw, and the New York Free Press, until he became the youngest art director (and occasional illustrator) for the New York Times Op-Ed page at age twenty-three.

Steven Heller was an art director at the New York Times for thirty-three years. Currently, he is cochair of the SVA / NYC MFA Design / Designer as Entrepreneur program and writes’s Daily Hellercolumn, which Wired magazine has called a “must-follow feed in the world of design.” He is the author or coauthor of two hundred books on graphic design, satiric art, and illustration and lives in New York City.

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