The Book Museum of the City of New York will host a conversation with David Byrne and Maira Kalman and their book American Utopia on January 13. The conversation includes author, illustrator and artist Maira Kalman as well as Talking Heads frontman Byrne, who have worked together on a book version of Byrne’s American Utopia musical. The audience Q&A will be hosted by WNYC’s Alison Stewart.
Byrne and Kalman’s book, also titled American Utopia, was released on October 27 and contains some words from the musical, but it is mostly centered around illustrations. According to NPR’s review of American Utopia, “[the book] contains little of the play’s language; in fact, it contains little language, full stop. Some pages offer only a few words, or a notable place name — Truth or Consequences, New Mexico makes an appearance, as do Bullfrog, Utah and Goofy Ridge, Illinois—or, in one case, the chorus of the Talking Heads hit ‘Road to Nowhere.’ The resulting effect is much more like reading a book-length poem than reading a play, though few poems or poetry collections come filled with charming illustrations of trees, dancers, and party-hatted dogs.”
Just before the book was released, a concert-film version of American Utopia was released on HBO, directed by Spike Lee. Learn more here.
The conversation will be hosted on Zoom and will begin at 7 p.m. ET. While the event is free to register, there is a suggested donation component. Click here to register.