Girl Reading

Girl Reading

Book - 2012
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This "debut of rare individuality and distinction" (Hilary Mantel), told in seven chapters and peopled by girls and women caught in the act of reading, is a fascinating celebration of women in culture over the last seven centuries.

Seven portraits. Seven artists. Seven girls and women reading. 

A young orphan poses nervously for a Renaissance maestro in medieval Siena. An artist's servant girl in seventeenth-century Amsterdam snatches a moment away from her work to lose herself in tales of knights and battles. An eighteenth century female painter completes a portrait of a deceased poetess for her lover.  A Victorian medium poses with a book in one of the first photographic studios. A girl suffering her first heartbreak witnesses intellectual and sexual awakening during the Great War. A young woman reading in a bar catches the eye of a young man who takes her picture.  And in the not-so-distant future a woman navigates the rapidly developing cyber-reality that has radically altered the way people experience art and the way they live.

Each chapter of Katie Ward's kaleidoscopic novel takes us into a perfectly imagined tale of how each portrait came to be, and as the connections accumulate, the narrative leads us into the present and beyond. In gorgeous prose Ward explores our points of connection, our relationship to art, the history of women, and the importance of reading.  This dazzlingly inventive novel that surprises and satisfies announces the career of a brilliant new writer.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2012, c2011
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781451655902
1451655908
9781451657326
Branch Call Number: Fiction
Characteristics: viii, 341p. ; 23 cm

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bookfanatic1979 Jul 23, 2012

Perhaps this is a case of too-high expectations on my part. This is a very well-written (except for the total neglect of dialogue indicators), well-planned out book. The stories are extremely creative and show a great deal of imagination on Ward’s part. Having said that, I found myself liking each story a little bit less than the one before it. Part of my problem was that I expected them all to be based on pictures from the past. The last two stories really threw me for a loop—especially the one set in 2060. Interesting, but not really my cup of tea.

1november9 Apr 27, 2012

Girl Reading by Katie Ward emphaticaly informed by feminism, awareness of a position of a women-as mother, worker, lovers, victims, objects of desire. That is a brief, beautiful book captures the universal emotions of women throughout history at all different stages of life. It is a perfect book for a woman who love to read, who loves history. I would give five stars, highly recommended

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EmilyEm
Mar 12, 2012

Each chapter could stand alone, but, oh, what a delight to read as a novel and see how these readers influence the action of their stories and seemingly inspired great art.

What a wonderful debut novel for Katie Ward. I think book groups will love this book. Find Katie's website for links to all the artworks that influenced her stories; I just happened upon it using the list in the notes at the end, searching artworks one by one.

debwalker Feb 14, 2012

Starred review in Shelf Awareness. The meaning and power of reading in women's lives over the centuries.

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