And the Pursuit of Happiness

And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman
by Maira Kalman
ISBN: 9780143122036

Considering how much I love Maira Kalman’s work, it took me a long time to read this book. The Founding Fathers? A year about democracy? Perhaps I am too cynical, but it sounded boring to me.

I should have known better. First, Kalman’s perspective is always interesting, so much so the subject matter — well, the ostensible subject matter — may almost be beside the point. Second, if there can be a killer musical about Alexander Hamilton, maybe I need to reconsider what can be interesting.

She created these paintings, photographs, stories and even some embroidery at what think of already as a more optimistic time, right after Obama was elected President. Maybe it is good I did not read this before, as now in this absurd election season I need some political hope, like this quote from Lincoln:

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I don’t know about you, but I am sure I will need reminders that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from this earth.” (That’s Lincoln again.)

I love Kalman’s wandering mind and serendipitous connections as much as I love her bold colors, loose sketches, and handwriting. Her books are an inspiring view into a mind at work.

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