Maira Kalman

October 19, 2012

By Koseli.

On Friday morning I had the honor to see Maira Kalman speak at Creative Mornings at the MOMA. It’s been a dream of mine to meet her as she is one of my all-time favorite illustrators. She illustrated Elements of Style and Michael Pollan’s Food Rules, wrote and illustrated several children’s books like What Pete Ate, fell in love with Abraham Lincoln (a must, must read!), and designed at least 12 covers for the New Yorker. She travels the world to people-watch, and her off-the-cuff observations are so spot on; armed with her free and funny illustrations and signature script, they really hit a reader hard.

I often think she’s speaking to me…sometimes, for me.

When someone in the audience asked, “If you could be anywhere with anyone, where would you be?” she responded without hesitation, “Eating breakfast with Proust.” I got up the courage to say hello afterward and ask her to autograph the book that made me realize I love grammar, and suddenly said, “I want to join you and Proust for breakfast!” She laughed and said, “All right.”

It’s a date. A dream date.

Have you ever met your favorite author or even a celebrity crush? Did you speak up? I’m so excited to hear. I feel like it could be incredibly wonderful or horribly embarrassing and disappointing to see someone from your dreams in real life!

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melissa@Julia's Bookbag October 19, 2012 at 10:22 am

What a cute story! In the early ’90′s when ‘The X Files’ was in its prime and my crush on David Duchovny (Fox Mulder) was off the charts, I met him when I was home on Christmas vacation (I’m from Hawaii, originally). My brother and I spotted him a restaurant, and we went over and wished him Merry Christmas and told him we liked the show. The we went and got my mom so she could say hello too. At that point I’m sure he was wishing we’d go away!

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2 Koseli October 22, 2012 at 1:49 pm

This made me laugh, Melissa. A family event!

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3 Lilly October 19, 2012 at 10:33 am

You’re a lucky one! Well… I hope to meet a lot of writers and illustrators someday.. but none yet.

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4 beyond October 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm

oh, i love her, too. thanks for sharing this.

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5 Dale Coykendall October 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Love her work, brings back great memories of nyc when I was first starting out of school …interviewed with M& Co. Tibor was a hoot.

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6 Koseli October 22, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Yes, she is so amazing. All her own. I’ll have to find that interview, Dale.

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7 Elizabeth October 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Oh, I love her work, too, and I have all her books. I carried a short story around of Lorrie Moore’s for years, folded up in my purse and then fifteen years later went to hear her read and discuss her new novel. When the discussion was over, I stood and told her how much her story had meant to me when my baby was diagnosed with a severe disability and that I wondered who she wrote for — how she was able to write so intimately. She looked right at me and said, “I write for you,” and I practically swooned. I decided that writers — at least my perceptions/illusions/delusions — are my rock stars!

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8 Christy@SweetandSavoring October 19, 2012 at 6:01 pm

When I was 18, I met my favorite author at the time, SARK. She’s just as wonderful in person as she comes across in her books! It was such a fun night :)

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9 Koseli October 22, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Sounds like you had an amazing, natural interaction. How cool!

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10 becki October 20, 2012 at 10:14 am

What a great opportunity! My copy Elements of Style isn’t illustrated. I didn’t even know there was an illustrated edition. I feel cheated.

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11 Koseli October 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Yes, the edition came out much later than the original. It’s so beautiful. Absolutely worth the investment.

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12 Huda October 22, 2012 at 7:28 am

I had the opportunity to see Hugh Jackman when he was in town for his Broadway show and slipped backstage right after. I told him I grew up reading X-men comics and that I forgave him for being too tall as Wolverine (he’s only 5’3″ in the comics) in the movies. He laughed pretty hard at that. He was really down-to-earth and genuinely engaged in the conversation. He autographed my programme and I finally got the courage to say, “You’re twice my age, but I really wish you weren’t married… even though your wife seems lovely”. He winked and said, “Me too”. By this time, there was a crowd of people behind us and they all laughed. Even though he just said that for the sake of it, I couldn’t stop smiling the whole way back home.

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13 Koseli October 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm

You brave girl! I saw he and his wife at Shakespeare in the Park two years ago. He sat a couple rows in front of us. When it was over, he dropped his ticket on the ground and we picked it up and kept it! Ha ha. We gave it to our friend who is a die-hard Hugh fan.

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14 Huda October 22, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Haha that is so awesome.

I’m pretty sure he could hear my heart pound against my ribcage the whole time I was talking to him. I was pretty nervous.

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15 Christine October 31, 2012 at 2:38 am

while in college i was on the committee that coordinated the programs for the university. we meet jerry seinfeld when he came to perform pre- the seinfeld show. he was amazingly cool – just like you’d think. been a massive fan ever since.

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16 Koseli October 31, 2012 at 7:52 am

I love that you became an even bigger fan after meeting him.

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