Maira Kalman was born in Tel Aviv and moved to New York with her family at the age of four. She was raised in bucolic Riverdale, the Bronx. She now lives in Manhattan.
Kalman has written and illustrated eighteen children’s books, including Ooh-la-la-Max in Love, What Pete Ate, Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey, 13 WORDS, a collaboration with Lemony Snicket, Why We Broke Up, with Daniel Handler, Looking at Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything.
She is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker Magazine, and is well known for her collaboration with Rick Meyerowitz on the “New Yorkistan” cover in 2001 and “The New York City Sub-Culinary Map.” Kalman is currently creating an illustrated column for The New Yorker based on travels to museums and libraries.
Recent projects include illustrating Strunk and White’s classic The Elements of Style. A small opera based on the text was composed by Nico Muhly. She has created two monthly online columns for the New York Times. The first, The Principles of Uncertainty (2006-07), was a narrative journal of her life. The second, And The Pursuit of Happiness (2009) was a year long exploration of American history and democracy. Both columns are now collected in book form, published by the Penguin Press.
For Mark Morris, Kalman has designed costumes for Renard (2011).