AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

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Illustrator and author Maira Kalman has long been a personal hero of mine. She visited The Factory a couple of years ago, along with Rosanne Cash and Gael Towey, for a two-day sewing workshop and some adventure. It was then that I learned Maira is not only a talented illustrator, but also an avid embroidery expert. I love everything she creates (but especially her drawings and unique storytelling perspective), and am happy to call her my friend.

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In her book And the Pursuit of Happiness, Maira explores American democracy and its workings. Originally published as a 12-part online series for the New York Times, this complete bound volume tells the colorfully illustrated and hand-lettered history of America.

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The year-long quest for democracy began in January 2008, and the first chapter tells the story of the inauguration of President Obama:

And we mortals, driving down to Washington, passing white mountains and black mountains of unidentified industrial stuff, listen to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson sing words from a Bach cantata.

“Now is the time of grace.”

The heart is racing. And all I can say is Hallelujah.

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Each chapter further explores a part of American history, from George Washington to Jell-o molds, from Ruth Bader Ginsburg to bobby pins, and inquires as to what Thomas Jefferson really meant when he wrote “…and the pursuit of happiness” those many years ago.

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Purchase And the Pursuit of Happiness from our online store here.

P.S. Today is Read Across America Day. I plan on spending some extra time tonight reading to Maggie…she loves Maira’s books as much as I do.

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2 thoughts on “AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

  1. Mary

    Her book on Lincoln is excellent, and I just used it with my students during a discussion of Presidents’ Day. Her work is so engaging!

    Reply

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