Contact: Guy Lamolinara, Library of Congress, (202) 707-9217
Contact: Erin Baysden, Hirshhorn Museum, (202) 633-1618

November 9, 2010

Renowned Writer and Artist Maira Kalman to Discuss New Book, “And the Pursuit of Happiness”

Event Is First Co-Sponsored by Library of Congress and Hirshhorn Museum

Noted writer, illustrator and designer Maira Kalman's year-long investigation of democracy and how it works has resulted in her newest book, "And the Pursuit of Happiness" (Penguin, 2010), which is also the name of her popular blog at

Kalman will discuss and sign her book on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at noon in the Montpelier Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond event, co-sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. The two institutions are planning additional co-sponsored programs.

"And the Pursuit of Happiness" combines words and pictures in an illustrated essay that is both probing and lighthearted. Beginning in 2008, Kalman traveled to Washington, D.C., launching a national tour that would take her from a town hall meeting in Newfane, Vt., to the inner chambers of the Supreme Court. She imagines making a home for herself in the center of the Lincoln Memorial, ponders Alexis de Tocqueville's America, witnesses the inner workings of a Bronx middle-school student council, takes a high-speed lesson in great American women in the National Portrait Gallery and considers the cost of war to the brave American service families of Fort Campbell, Ky.

Kalman is widely renowned for her contributions to The New York Times, The New Yorker and other major publications. Her book is also the subject of a discussion on Facebook. The new Books & Beyond Book Club is available at Here readers can discuss books, the authors of which have appeared or will appear in this series. The site also offers links to webcasts of these events and asks readers to talk about what they have seen and heard.

Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress ( has become a major national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The center provides leadership for 52 affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading-promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library’s annual National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center.

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PR 10-254
ISSN 0731-3527

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