Macmillan Publishers: THE WELL OF BEING by Jean-Pierre Weill

STORY066Well of Being Cover  for MargaretThis cover depicts the upcoming US Flatiron edition. The UK Bluebird edition (Pan Macmillan) is available now.

Available now at

When Jean-Pierre couldn’t find a publisher for The Well of Being he published it himself. In little more than a year he’d sold out all 3,000 copies, and Pan Macmillan, Macmillan’s London division, was on the phone making him an offer.

The book, with its brief text and 100 watercolor illustrations, is now back in print, in a slightly more compact format. The Well of Being‘s London print run was fall 2015.  It’s New York print run will be fall 2016.  Foreign language versions are expected to follow.

To read the Brain Pickings Weekly review of the book, go to

Jean-Pierre Weill on The Well of Being   The Well of Being is a pictorial narrative and my first book. The book took a few turns before I learned where it was headed. I thought I was writing a pictorial adventure about T. S. Eliot’s famous Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. I had drawn illustrations of Mr. Prufrock muttering tedious arguments to himself as he visited a museum or walked along muddled half deserted streets. I cataloged his (and my) dark moods – his confusion and longings and ennui, and his states of victim-hood. I then decided to expand the repertoire of watercolors to include my positive states of mind, my moments of contentment and joy. Traces of Eliot’s poem all but disappeared as I discovered the book’s true purpose: to guide modernist Everyman – and along with him, myself – to the wellbeing he longs for, dimly remembers yet no longer believes in.

By elevating the illustrations from a role of mere embellishment of text to its leading collaborative partner, the reader is invited to approach the content as a child, with a new mind, freed from the natural suspicion toward unfamiliar ideas. Having passed through the gates of resistances, the ideas are experienced, which the reader may afterwards discard or examine further down the road. What are these ideas? They’re about the patterns of interior thinking which operate seemingly independent of our will, which constrict our view about who we are and how our world works. They are thoughts about the source of our well-being, about how we often become estranged from well-being, and how we may recover it so that we may more fully step into our lives.

As it crosses several genres, this book may be a book-seller’s bad dream, mixing stoic doctrine with poetry with cognitive psychology with self-help with art and spirituality. It concerns self transcendence, the essence of what adulthood means, yet it is disguised as a child’s picture-book. …I have labored to make its interior world coherent and whole and serious and logical. I hope that it will deliver to you some pleasure and chuckles. Beyond that, I want its perennial teaching to be shared between others, be it quiet or noisy, and understood.