restricted access Maya Lin: Thinking with Her Hands by Susan Goldman Rubin (review)
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Reviewed by
Rubin, Susan Goldman Maya Lin: Thinking with Her Hands. Chronicle, 2017 112p illus. with photographs
ISBN 978-1-4521-0837-7 $17.99 R Gr. 5-8

Had architect and designer Maya Lin done nothing beyond her Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, D.C., she would have merited attention and acclaim. Lin, however, resists being typecast as a memorial builder, and in this accessible architectural overview, Rubin introduces young readers to the breadth of her work. Lin’s career unfolds across nine chronologically organized chapters, each anchored by a particular construction and titled by a medium or theme, beginning with “Clay, ” which Lin first used as a child exploring art forms; on to “Granite” and her breakout college project, The Wall; “Water” that provided the symbolic element in her Civil Rights Memorial; “Earth” for Lin’s wave fields, and so forth. Conventional biographical information is included, but it is incorporated organically into appropriate moments throughout the text: Lin’s marriage is discussed while her daughters’ births bookend her work on the Langston Hughes Library, and her Chinese heritage takes on added relevance in her Museum of Chinese in America project. Full-page color photographs of Lin as working artists and of her completed work are beautifully reproduced; colored text backgrounds and generous sans serif font complement Lin’s sleek, spare designs. Source notes, index, and a bibliography of multimedia resources are included.