Norton Juster Interview - The Daily

On the road againOn the 50th anniversary of ‘The Phantom Tollbooth,’ Norton Juster talks about kids, history and hope.

If you ask Norton Juster, the hallmark of a literary career is a childhood spent in boredom. After all, Charlotte Brontë and her sisters grew up in an isolated Yorkshire parish house. Robert Louis Stevenson spent much of his youth as a virtual shut-in.

As for Juster himself? “I grew up before television, no computers, no little machines to do things for us,” the 82-year-old author of “The Phantom Tollbooth” told an audience at New York City’s BookFest last week who had gathered to celebrate the book’s 50th year in print. “It was a more privileged time,” he said, deadpan. “It forced me to use my imagination.”