Katherine has published 10 novels, 3 short story collections, and 2 anthologies of travel writing. She has won the City of Toronto Book Award and the Marian Engel Award. She is a Distinguished Alumna of The University of Alberta, one of York University’s “Famous Fifty” alumni. She is also recognized by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association for Excellence in Arts.
“Govier astonishes throughout in her ability to write epic themes intimately.” Publishers’ Weekly
Art In Fiction
From Canmore: Grass
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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.”