I have long been a fan of Katherine Govier, a writer who shares great stories and creates characters you’d love to meet “in real life”. I happily came across her newest novel on Twitter by the name it was published under in the US: The Printmaker’s Daughter. (In Canada, it’s published as The Ghost Brush.)
As a printmaker, I was intrigued. As a fan of Govier, I knew I had to get the book. It tells the story of Oei, the daughter of the famous Japanese printmaker, Hokusai, who created the stunning woodblock print “The Great Wave“.
A book review of The Ghost Brush has been on my list of things to get to on this blog. But, then I came across Janie Chang who very skillfully beat me to it. With Janie’s permission I am sharing her review. She has reviewed this book so beautifully, I couldn’t have topped it. The beginning of her review is linked below – click on the link under the excerpt for more.
The Ghost Brush by Katherine Govier Posted by Janie Chang on Oct 22, 2012
The Big Wave, by the 19th century artist Hokusai, is perhaps the single most recognized Japanese work of art. The artist Hokusai was prolific and never satisfied with his work. He evolved his style continuously and painted until the end of his long life. Or did he? Govier’s book points to Oei, Hokusai’s unconventional daughter, as the real artist behind the masterpieces produced during the final years of her father’s life.
The Ghost Brush is the story of a woman lost to history, from an era and society when women were not allowed to claim a career or identity for themselves. Oei is unforgettable, driven to paint by her own talent, exasperated by her father’s eccentricity, bound to him by grudging admiration and love.
Janie Chang’s blog & website is definitely worth a read in itself.
Chang is a writer living in Vancouver, British Columbia, and she is a self-professed lover of “historical fiction, science fiction, and the occasional literary novel”. Her blog includes:
- book reviews (“Normally I get through a book a week. I read the way some people eat potato chips, by the handful.”);
- heart-warming family stories (“My hope is that these stories encourage you to write about your own family’s history.”);
- author interviews with the writers of books she reviews; and
- the story of her quest to get her own historical novel published
In finding one writer, I’ve been lucky enough to find a second, delightful writer. And, as I certainly have more Katherine Govier novels in my future, I will also watch Janie Chang’s journey and cheer from the sidelines when her novel is published as well.