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Out of Line: A memoir

Political cartoonist and author Dov Fedler discusses his memoir 'Out of Line'. (Camera & Editing: Darlene Creamer)

19th February 2015

By: Creamer Media Reporter

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Out of Line is both Dov Fedler’s autobiography and a book that captures a particular history of a specific generation: that of the Jewish baby boomers in South Africa who descended from mainly Lithuanian stock.

Fedler was a laatlammetjie, born and bred in Johannesburg in 1940 just as Hitler was getting into his stride.  A third child was not on his parents’ ‘want list’. It was hard enough supporting two much older children and a printing business struggling to exist.

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When Fedler was about three his mother had a ‘nervous breakdown’ which is when he remembers seeing his first pencil and knowing precisely what it was that he wanted to do with his life.

There are no coincidences in Dov’s life. He believes that a hand of destiny has steered his path.  Many dramatic encounters (not with aliens or spirits, but with everyday people) have shaped him and he wouldn’t have missed any of it.

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Fedler’s story is intensely personal and honest, with a powerful combination of humour, emotion and community history.

About the author:

Dov Fedler is now in his 70s and has been drawing for more than 50 of those years.This is self-evident in his cartoons where a skilled hand, an intuitive understanding of current affairs, and a sharp wit meet. 

Fedler joined The Star newspaper as its cartoonist in the early 1970s and has been with that paper ever since. His cartoons are now published across the country in other Independent titles too: The Pretoria News, The Mercury, The Cape Times, and Kimberly’s Diamond Fields Advertiser. He has covered the careers of hundreds of politicians, athletes and celebrities from Albert Hertzog through to Jacob Zuma

Fedler’s earliest dream was to work for Walt Disney. He has always known his career was somewhere in drawing. He got to visit Disney World once and could not wait to leave. He has never been to Europe or Brakpan and is a pure product of Johannesburg. He loves older movies. The last on his wish list was to become a political cartoonist.

He is married to a doctor and has three daughters, a doctor, a lawyer and author, and a media boff. He has three grandchildren and a cat called Smudge.

Out of Line is published by Tracey McDonald Publishers

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