Sunday, December 11, 2011

Author Serendipity #2: Katherine Govier

This is a new monthly feature which will hightight those authors I have recently discovered, and whose books I would love to read.  Such discoveries might come about through browsing on the Internet, a chance encounter with an interesting book in a bookstore (I no longer go to libraries -- it's much too painful), or through other bloggers' recommendations.

The authors I choose will be those who write in my favorite genres, and might be either emerging authors, or have been in print for a while.  They will, however, be entirely new to me.

I hope you will enjoy this monthly feature, and will also decide to acquaint yourselves with the authors I present here!

Here's my second discovery!!

(Born July 4, 1948)

Goodreads/Wikipedia Bio*

Katherine Govier is a Canadian novelist born in Edmonton, Alberta, educated at the University of Alberta and York University.  She has been made a Distinguished Alumna of the University of Alberta, and is one of York University's "Famous Fifty" graduates.

She is the author of nine novels and three short story collections. Her most recent novel, The Printmaker's Daughter (aka The Ghost Brush), is about the daughter of the famous Japanese printmaker, Hokusai, creator of "The Great Wave Off Kanagawa", which is part of a series of woodblock prints, titled "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji". 

Katsushika Hokusai
(c. 1829 -32)

Govier's fiction and non-fiction has appeared in the United Kingdom, the United States, and throughout the Commonwealth, and in translation in Holland, Italy, Turkey, and Slovenia. She is the winner of Canada's Marian Engel Award for a woman writer (1997) and the Toronto Book Award (1992), for her 1991 novel, Hearts of Flame.  Another novel, Creation, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 2003.

(* all links provided by A Night's Dream of Books)

Katherine Govier
Paperback, 320 pages
HarperCollins Publishers
November 22, 2011
Genres: Art, Historical Fiction,
Literary Fiction

From the Amazon Synopsis

Recounting the story of her life, Oei plunges us into the colorful world of nineteenth-century Edo, in which courtesans rub shoulders with poets, warriors consort with actors, and the arts flourish in an unprecedented moment of creative upheaval. Oei and Hokusai live among writers, novelists, and tattoo artists, evading the spies of the repressive shogunate as they work on Hokusai’s countless paintings and prints. Wielding her brush, rejecting domesticity in favor of dedication to the arts, Oei defies all expectations of womanhood—all but one. A dutiful daughter to the last, she will obey the will of her eccentric father, the man who created her and who, ultimately, will rob her of her place in history.

Katherine Govier reads at the
"Word On The Street Festival" in Toronto, Canada,
on September 28, 2008.  

This is another Govier novel:

Katherine Govier
Trade Paperback, 576 pages
Vintage Canada
April 11, 2000
(first published 1996)
Genres: Art, Historical Fiction,
Literary Fiction

From the Goodreads Synopsis

At eighty-five, Cory Ditchburn has finally agreed to a retrospective of her art.

As she sorts through her photographs with Tyke, the son she abandoned for her love and for World War II, each image projects Cory into one of the split-seconds that have strung themselves together as her life. Her pictures give her back the story of her past - from her beginnings in Pointe au Baril, Ontario, a place of rocky islands and forests; to her days in London, England, where she honed her skills as a photographer and met the great love of her life; to war-ravaged Europe where she worked as a war correspondent for Lord Beaverbrook.

Together, Cory and Tyke retrace the dramatic and sometimes painful path that has led them to the present. Mother and son reclaim each other, and relive an extraordinary woman's life.

Bravo!Fact video adapted from Angel Walk
directed by Mitch Gabourie and screened
at the 1998 Toronto International Film Festival.


  1. Yay! Featured author time!

    Again, I'd never heard of this one before... But I'm glad you brought it to my attention! Specially the japanese-inspired fiction. I love Japan and its culture, and I'd like to read some historical fiction (most of what I've seen to date comes in the form of lenghty TV dramas...)

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hey, there, Ron!

    Gee, I'm so glad you appreciate this feature! I'd love to get more comments on these posts...

    Japan does indeed have a fascinating culture! I've always loved Hokusai's work. Now I find out that he had a daughter! Yes, this novel is based on a true story! I read somewhere on the Internet that Govier did FIVE years of research for "The Printmaker's Daughter"! Amazing!!

    Thanks so much for your comment!! : )


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