Monday, October 22, 2007  09:42 AM

guiding principle

"I can't help it, I'm optimistic," says Maira Kalman of her latest book, "The Principles of Uncertainty" (Penguin Press), which she describes as "utterly hopeless and desperately euphoric." "Uncertainty," which hits shelves this week, is a compilation of the year-long monthly column (plus bonus features) Kalman wrote and drew for The New York Times, and is lavishly illustrated with her gouache paintings of subjects as various as a dodo bird, Vladimir Nabokov, borscht, and a full-color take on Cecil Beaton's portrait of his sister Baba, which fashion types will be sure to appreciate. "It was a beloved project," Kalman says of the column. "I got to be myself."


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