I first heard about Maira Kalman when she wrote and illustrated a month-long blog for the New York Times five or more years ago. I love her perspective on life, her artwork, and her humor. Her new book, And the Pursuit of Happiness, is a piece of heaven.
In her illustrated collection of essays, Kalman examines people, places, and concepts that influenced and were influenced by the self-evident truth (and promise) Thomas Jefferson wrote about a new nation: " . . . and the pursuit of Happiness."
This is not a philosophy book, though it is full of ideas; it is not a travelogue, but it takes us on a journey. Kalman writes a love song to Lincoln that will leave you breathless, takes a walk across the country that might change your diet, and shows you the Capitol building in a way that leaves you smiling. There is really nothing more to say, except find this book, buy it, read it, and treasure it.
Here are two pages I scanned from And the Pursuit of Happiness. The first is about Sir Thomas More and the second is about how Mt. Vernon (George Washington's estate) was saved for future generations (click to enlarge).
Maria Kalman has a website, where you can learn about her work. And the Pursuit of Happiness is an Indie Next pick for November 2010.
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