The Ghost Brush
The Ghost Brush
Harper Collins, 2010
As a child, Oei joined her father, Hokusai, the printmaker, in his studio. In a time when a woman was a possession of her menfolk, Oei labored to bring her father’s visions to life. Her home of Edo (Tokyo) was the largest city in the world, teeming with peasants, warriors, townsmen, merchants, and nobles. Always broke, living beyond convention, dodging the censors, and devoted to the old man, Oei left hundreds of beautiful pictures. But she – and her work – are lost to history. Or are they?
Now, 150 years after the death of Edo’s great eccentrics, scholars examine the thousands of Hokusai paintings in museums from New York to London, Amsterdam to Tokyo. Some are forgeries; many are the work of students. But the authorship of the greatest works, painted in the last ten years of Hokusai’s life, is a mystery.
This novel combines international research, scholarly detective work, and imagination. It brings a great, lost woman artist to life—and exposes the process by which she was subtracted from history.
The Ghost Brush is published in the US under the title The Printmaker’s Daughter.
The Ghost Brush is published in Japan as Hokusai to Oi (北斎と応為); @hokusaitooui: Book
The French translation of THE GHOST BRUSH, entitled LA FEMME HOKUSAI, has earned a Governor General’s nomination for the translators, Lorin Saint-Martin and Paul Gagne.
View a video of Katherine talking about her novel The Ghost Brush, with shots of artworks and her travels.