Penguin, New York, 2007, English
Nonfiction, Graphic Design
6.14 x 9.25 inches, paperback, 336 pages
ISBN: 9781594201349
Suggested Retail Price: $22.00

From the Publisher. An irresistible invitation to experience life through the psyche of Maira Kalman, one of this country’s most beloved artists. The result is a book that is part personal narrative, part documentary, part travelogue, part chapbook, and all Kalman. Her brilliant, whimsical paintings, ideas, and images—which initially appear random—ultimately form an intricately interconnected worldview, an idiosyncratic inner monologue. Kalman contends with some existential questions: What is identity? What is happiness? Why do we fight wars? And then, of course, death, love, and candy (not necessarily in that order).

On 4 book lists
Lisa Jenks

I am a huge fan of Maira. I adore her artwork, but even more her perspective on the world.

Warren Lehrer

I cherish everything Maira Kalman illuminates, from Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style (also made into a small opera), to Michael Pollan’s Food Rules, to her children’s books (made with and without her late husband and partner, Tibor). I’m so glad she let us into her heart and head even more with her New York Times journal columns, and even more glad they were compiled into this book. A lot of deserved praise has already been heaped on Principles; I’ll just say that it’s a marvel how seamlessly Kalman bridges word and image, everydayness with big questions, joy with dread, satire and affection.

Deborah Sussman

Each and every book by Maira Kalman is a delightful gift to my life. It does help to know who she’s picturing and writing about—and since I do, it’s a double-digit delight. If you don’t know who is who, try to find out. Her work transcends categories and proves that hands are still viable tools for making art.

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