cover image Maya Lin: Thinking with Her Hands

Maya Lin: Thinking with Her Hands

Susan Goldman Rubin. Chronicle, $17.99 (112p) ISBN 978-1-4521-0837-7

Rubin (The Quilts of Gee’s Bend) adds to her catalogue of artist biographies, succinctly chronicling some of the work of architect and artist Maya Lin. Published to coincide with the 35th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., which Lin designed for a competition while still a college student, the book echoes the famed architect’s spare, minimalist style with its compact trim size and simple organizing principal. Headings such as “Granite,” “Water,” and “Wood” denote the building materials Lin used for projects featured in those chapters. “Earth” showcases the Lin’s Wave Field series, swaths of land sculpted to resemble waves. A straightforward, accessible, and mostly chronological narrative details how Lin’s artistic parents and Chinese-American heritage have influenced her. Quotations in enlarged, colorful typeface break up text blocks while providing insight into her design philosophy (“I think of my work as creating a private conversation with each person”), and full-color photographs display several of Lin’s nature-resonating designs. This well-researched biography concludes with an extensive bibliography, source notes, and an index. Ages 10–14. (Nov.)