The Printmaker’s Daughter
The Printmaker's Daughter
Harper Perennial, 2011
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.
View a video of Katherine talking about her novel The Ghost Brush (aka the Printmaker’s Daughter), with shots of artworks and her travels.