Friday, December 30, 2022

Seven books that celebrate underappreciated crafts

Aanchal Malhotra is a writer and oral historian from New Delhi, India. A co-founder of the Museum of Material Memory, Malhotra has written two nonfiction books on the human history and generational impact of the 1947 Partition, titled Remnants of Partition and In the Language of Remembering.

The Book of Everlasting Things is her debut novel.

At Electric Lit Malhotra tagged seven books "centering the ancient traditions and unique occupations endangered by a modernizing world," including:
The Printmaker’s Daughter by Katherine Govier

In Japan’s nineteenth-century Edo period, when artists and writers were suppressed by the shogunate, Kastushika Hokusai, a printmaker, lives with his daughter, Oei, working on pieces like The Great Wave that will one day become legend. However, in their time, they live in poverty, traveling often to avoid arrests. Through research, Govier imagines the life of Oei, who reveres her father above all else. She works in his studio for her whole life, and may well have been the hand behind some of his most famous works. This is a novel about artistry and the ukiyo-e tradition of woodblock printing and painting, but is as much about family and loyalty, and the place of women. In the final chapters, Oei says, “I am the brush. I am the line. I am the color”—and yet this is weighed down by one final admission: “I am she, Hokusai’s daughter.”
Read about another entry on the list.

My Book, The Movie: The Printmaker's Daughter.

--Marshal Zeringue