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The Principles of Uncertainty Hardcover – October 18, 2007
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Amazon Best of the Month, Octhober 2007: In 2005 Maira Kalman brought a fresh vision to Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, filling the pages of the reference classic with her whimsical illustrations. And much like its multi-talented creator--who has illustrated children's books and New Yorker covers and collaborated on fashion projects with Kate Spade and Isaac Mizrahi--her new book, The Principles of Uncertainty, defies easy classification. Is it philosophy? Art? Memoir? Travel? Sociology? The answer is All of the Above (and more). This charming collection of text, paintings, and photography presents a "profusely illustrated" year in a life, with illustrated musings that range from a young Nabokov "sitting innocently and elegantly in a red chair" to two stuffed rabbits in the window at Paris's Deyrolles taxidermy to Kitty Carlisle Hart at home in her "pearly pink palace." Delightful, inspiring, and often very moving, this little charmer is a a book you might find nestled on Wes Anderson's coffee table. --Brad Thomas Parsons
From Bookmarks Magazine
Reviewers were not faint in their praise of The Principles of Uncertainty, even if they spent most of their energy attempting to describe it. And no wonder: the list of items that Maira Kalman describes in the book could almost fill a book itself, even without her illustrations. Readers who are unfamiliar with Kalmanâs work but respond to even a few items on that list should probably take a look at Principles. Those who know her childrenâs books or illustrations will be excited to see her take on a broader range of topics, including âthe images and confusion of the dreamworld [that] linger in our waking hoursâ and create deep emotion and consciousness from her art (New York Times Book Review). But as with any book, the most important question will be whether the imagesâ"here, mostly visualâ"affect the readerâs own perceptions of the world.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.
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When the pieces first appeared every month on "Times Select" (New York Times features for subscribers), there would hundreds of comments by morning. She has a vast and appreciative audience, and from her children's books to this one, her style and subtlety continue to grow.