You can now purchase Ode to Happiness a book written by Keanu Reeves and illustrated by Alexandra Grant.
Ode to Happiness is a grown-upâ€™s picture book. Featuring artwork by artist Alexandra Grant and text by actor Keanu Reeves, this thoughtfully crafted artistâ€™s book serves as a meditation on making the best of a bad situation. In the tradition of a classic â€śhurtinâ€™ song,â€ť the text externalizes what is typically an internal monologue, a spontaneous, melancholy incantation of near-hopelessnessâ€”and in so doing, subtly pokes fun at it. The imagesâ€”beautifully realized in somber inky washes of black on whiteâ€”reflect the dark and light, the pathos and humor of the text. Neither entirely earnest nor wholly ironic, the book is ultimately completed by the reader, who brings his or her own experience to its interpretation.
Ode to Happiness is a testament to collaboration. Arising from the authorsâ€™ friendship and facilitated behind-the-scenes by Janey Bergam, the book was created through a process of exchange, as a gift each collaborator gave the other. Completing the collaboration was Gerhard Steidl, the legendary German printer and publisher who precisely translated the original artwork into book form and brought elegance and simplicity to its binding and packaging.
Intended as a reminder to take oneself only so seriously, Ode to Happiness is both a meditation and a gentle tease about how we cope with lifeâ€™s sorrows.
Keanu explains why a book at an intreview given to guardian.co.uk.
Image: Â© Alexandra Grant