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The Ghost Brush [Paperback]

Katherine Govier
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 17.99
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Book Description

July 18 2011

Oei is the daughter of the great Japanese printmaker Hokusai. Long consigned to a minor role as gloomy sidekick, she is barely a footnote in the historical record.

Here, Oei recounts her life with one of the great eccentrics of the 19th century. Dodging the Shogun’s spies, she and Hokusai live amongst actors, novelists, tattoo artists and prostitutes, making the exquisite pictures that define their time. Disguised, they escape the city gates to view waves and Mount Fuji. But they return to enchanting, dangerous Edo (Tokyo), the largest city in the world.

Wielding her brush, Oei defies all expectations of womanhood— all but one. She is dutiful until death to the exasperating father who created her and, ultimately, steals her future. A breathtaking work of imagination, The Ghost Brush illuminates the most tender and ambiguous love of all—that between father and daughter.


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About the Author

KATHERINE GOVIER’s novel Creation, about John James Audubon in Labrador, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 2003. She is the winner of Canada’s Marian Engel Award for a woman writer in mid-career and the Toronto Book Award. Katherine has been a visiting lecturer in both creative writing and magazine journalism at York University, Ryerson Polytechnic University and the University of Leeds (England). Visit her online at www.govier.com.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical Fiction, beautifully told Dec 18 2012
By Jinty
Format:Kindle Edition
I loved this book. I loved the story of Oei and her struggle to establish her mark in an environment that crushed and destroyed 'uppity' women. I felt like I had been transported for a short while to nineteenth century Japan by Govier's vivid descriptions of life at that time. The story has stayed fresh in my mind for almost two years now and is certainly one of those books you want to read and re-read. I highly recommend it.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Meditation on Impermanence March 21 2012
By David H. Mattingly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Katherine Govier's The Ghost Brush is a poignant novel about the life of the Japanese painter Oei, daughter of the famous painter Hokusai. This historical novel, which was meticulously researched, will be of high interest to anyone interested in Japanese art and history. Set in the nineteenth century as Japan awkwardly transitions toward modernism, Oei's story unfolds with an enchanting cast of characters, including the surly but admirable Hokusai. At one level this novel is a meditation on the impermanence of life, the futility of trying to fight off old age and the eventual outcome, death. But Oei's voice transcends all of this, leaving the reader with many unforgettable moments. Oei's life is an epic struggle to find her place in the male dominated culture of traditional Japan and to resolve her conflicted relationship with her self-absorbed father. This book is pure poetry. Highly, highly, highly recommended.
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