where the writers are
Maira Kalman & Lemony Snicket in Conversation with Steven Winn at City Arts & Lectures
29 Sep 2010 8:00 pm
29 Sep 2010 10:00 pm

Maira Kalman is an illustrator, artist, designer, and author. Her work ranges from the iconic New Yorker cover shortly after 9/11 called “New Yorkistan,” to an illustrated special edition of The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White. In 2007 Kalman wrote and illustrated a monthly blog for The New York Times called The Principles of Uncertainty, which was published as a book of the same title the following year. With a pastel palate and scrawling handwriting, Kalman touches her readers with personal stories and beautiful illustrations. In one post she visits her father in a nursing home. She writes, “My father saw invisible people. A woman there thought that leaves were her eyeglasses.” In another, she depicts her travels to Israel during the war with Lebanon in 2006. In a review in the New York Times, Ariel Levy wrote, “Kalman sees—and frequently succeeds in making her reader see—heaven in a honey cake, an ocean of emotion in an abandoned chair.” In January 2010, she began a new monthly blog called And the Pursuit of Happiness. Kalman is also the author of 12 children’s books including Ooh-la-la Max in Love, What Pete Ate, and Swami on Rye. She also has an art show called "Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World)" featuring works on paper and ephemera at the Contemporary Jewish Museum through October 26th. Her new children’s book, 13 Words, is a collaboration with the writer Lemony Snicket.

Under the pen name Lemony Snicket, Daniel Handler is best known as the author of the internationally acclaimed, thirteen volume A Series of Unfortunate Events. Adapted into a feature film starring Jim Carrey in 2005, A Series of Unfortunate Events tells the turbulent and entertaining story of three orphaned children. After their parents die in a house fire, the three must navigate progressively more bizarre and difficult situations. Handler is also the author of three novels, The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, and Adverbs. A native of San Francisco, Handler also performs, writes screenplays, and plays the accordion.

Steven Winn is a freelance writer and critic who spent 28 years at the San Francisco Chronicle, the last six as the newspaper's Arts and Culture Critic. His work has appeared in Art News, California, Good Housekeeping, Parenting, Prairie Schooner, Sports Illustrated and others. His memoir, Come Back, Como: Winning the Heart of a Reluctant Dog, was published by Harper in 2009.

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