Monday, November 15, 2010

Review by Shellie: The Principles of Uncertainty ~ by Maira Kalman (a graphic novel)



A stylized yet simple graphic novel which questions life and its inevitable uncertainties, where the author asks about the meaning of life and death within a one-year segment of her life.

Thoughts:   Author Maira Kalman is the illustrator for The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, as well as the author and artist for a number of children’s books.  As a collector of many curious things, she has compiled her thoughts, drawings, and photographs in this book which reflect her feeling on some of the oddities within life. All compiled here in an adult’s picture book of sorts. It’s a philosophical, sad, yet mildly funny trip where the examples of human experience she shares also have a very universal feel. As the reader follows her path and the author questions life and the inevitable ups and downs of it all, we are left with more questions than are answered.

She has included her lovely drawings and photos she has taken, with her simple yet dryly lyrical thoughts around a year in her life. A lovely books which is easily read in one sitting but is one I would like to pick up again and again – it’s a meditation on life, art, human nature, all of its disappointments and within them, hidden joys. Asking the quintessential human questions in a slightly different and adult way: what is life about? Why do I feel sad? What happens after we die?

Highly recommended reading for adults who like stylized art and contemplating the nature of life. It’s a 4 star in my opinion and would make a lovely Christmas or Hanukah gift for the right person.

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics) (October 27, 2009)

Amazon purchasing links for US/UK/Canada.

This graphic novel will be included in the Graphic Novel Challenge, the New Author Challenge, and Feel My Sorrow.

Thanks for reading.

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