The Printmaker's Daughter
By Katherine Govier
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780062000361, 512pp.)
Publication Date: November 2011
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Recounting the story of her life, Oei plunges us into the colorful world of nineteenth-century Edo, in which courtesans rub shoulders with poets, warriors consort with actors, and the arts flourish in an unprecedented moment of creative upheaval. Oei and Hokusai live among writers, novelists, tattoo artists, and prostitutes, evading the spies of the repressive shogunate as they work on Hokusais countless paintings and prints. Wielding her brush, rejecting domesticity in favor of dedication to the arts, Oei defies all expectations of womanhoodall but one. A dutiful daughter to the last, she will obey the will of her eccentric father, the man who created her and who, ultimately, will rob her of her place in history.
Vivid, daring, and unforgettable, The Printmakers Daughter shines fresh light on art, loyalty, and the tender and indelible bond between a father and daughter.
Katherine Govier is a winner of the Toronto Book Award and Canadas Marian Engel Award for a woman writer in mid-career. Her novel Creation, about John James Audubon in Labrador, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She lives in Toronto.
“Katherine Govier reimagines the overlooked artist in this historically rich tale, based on a true story and crafted with vivid imagery.”
“Lavishly researched and brilliant. . . . Govier astonishes throughout in her ability to write epic themes intimately, particularly in the lyrical, absorbing, and intense final hundred pages.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Govier’s expansive historical novel turns the spotlight on Oei, the “ghost brush” attributed to some of her father’s famous prints, and a character that drives a compulsively readable novel.”
-Globe and Mail (Toronto)
“From the hothouse ferment of art studios, bordellos, and Kabuki theater to the tonic countryside, Govier’s spectacularly detailed, eventful, and emotionally stormy novel is populated by vivid characters and charged with searing insights into Japanese history and the diabolically difficult lives of women and artists.”
-Booklist (starred review)
“If you read one novel this year by a writer you may be unfamiliar with, read THE PRINTMAKER’S DAUGHTER by Katherine Govier; even if you are familiar with Ms. Govier’s novels, this one is unmatched literary fiction.”
-New York Journal of Books