My Breakthrough Moment: Maira Kalman

Creative Insight
The need to write was present from a young age. There were many books that I loved, but Pippi Longstocking was the moment I decided to be a writer. I knew that telling my story was imperative. Why does a child of seven or eight know that? The women in my family were an inspiration. They were bold and interesting and told stories with a sense of humour and irreverence. No one was sentimental. That was thrilling.
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I was born in Tel Aviv. A glorious Bauhaus city on the Mediterranean. A beautiful life. When I was four, my family moved to New York City. Hamburgers and Coca-Cola. That was also a beautiful life. I grew up in the Bronx and later we moved to Manhattan. The illustrator and writer discusses how, already 30 years into her career, a commission from the New York Times for a column called Principles of Uncertainty opened up a myriad of new possibilities
When I was 19, I met Tibor Kalman, the man that I would eventually marry. We worked together our entire lives. His sense of work and productivity and play were immensely important in the development of my self-esteem. He was a great inspiration to me.