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The Secret Lives of Color
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About the Author

Kassia St. Clair is a freelance journalist and author based in London. She graduated from Bristol University with a first-class honors degree in history in 2007 and went on to do a master's degree at Oxford. There she wrote her dissertation on women's masquerade costumes during the eighteenth century and graduated with distinction. She has since written about design and culture for publications including The Economist, House & Garden, Quartz, and the New Statesman. She has had a column about color in Elle Decoration since 2013 and is a former assistant books and arts editor for The Economist.

Reviews

"Beautifully written and thoughtfully produced . . . Full of anecdotes and fascinating research, this elegant compendium has all the answers."
--Nina Martyris, NPR's Best Books of 2017

"If you adore color, you'll love The Secret Lives of Color. This passionate and majestic compedium . . . will leave you bathed in the gorgeous optics of light."
--Elle "A kaleidoscope of charming, discursive essays . . . A light and lively guide [that] offers plenty of fresh clues for the brain's colorful calculations."
--The Economist "Fascinating."
--BuzzFeed "Gorgeous."
--The Guardian "The history of colors, it turns out, is the story of science as well as art. Kassia St. Clair's entertaining book brings them both into vivid relief."
--The Wall Street Journal

"The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair presents readers with [an] opportunity to relish in otherwise mundane aspects of reality. . . . An engaging mix of aesthetic analysis and optical science, it could make anyone a keen observer of our kaleidoscopic world."
--Popular Science "Riveting . . . diligently researched . . . Whatever your opinion of a shade, The Secret Lives of Color provides some illuminating perspectives on it."
--Hyperallergic "A mind-expanding tour of the world without leaving your paintbox. Every color has a story, and here are some of the most alluring, alarming, and thought-provoking."
--Simon Garfield, New York Times bestselling author of Just My Type: A Book About Fonts "St. Clair delivers a mix of science, humor, and art history in this collection of bite-sized essays on the cultural and social lore of colors. . . . Her sentences guarantee sustained reading. . . . [Her] rhetoric beautifies the form of the brief essay."
--Publishers Weekly "The Secret Lives of Color holds surprise and satisfaction at every striation of the rainbow."
--Booklist "Brimming with facts, historical insights and curious tales."
--Elle Decoration "Weirdly fascinating."
--Wired "Charming."
--The Financial Times "Fascinating insights . . . a lexicon of colors, simultaneously revealing the cultural attitudes that determine our responses to them."
--Country Living "What The Secret Lives of Color offers really is, in some sense, a flash portrait of human civilization, a zigzagging and unpredictable exploration of how significantly color has shaped histories and disciplines, fueled empires, changed the nature of war and caused species to flourish or face extinction."
--Chemistry World "A must for anyone interested in color [or] decorating, but also language, culture and art."
--The Chromologist "A work of art in its own right, The Secret Lives Of Color is a beautiful tactile book."
--The Pool "St. Clair serves up a chromatic buffet."
--Nature

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