Saturday, May 17, 2014

PICTURE BOOK - Hope is a Girl Selling Fruit - Amrita Das

English text from the Hindi Original by Gita Wolf and Susheel Varadarajan.
Illustrated by the author
2013 Tara Books, India
HC $16.95
32 pages
Goodreads rating: 4.40
My rating: 4/Lovely
Endpapers: Dark Olive
1st line:  "It all started with my journey to Chennai, to attend a bookmaking workshop.  I had never traveled so far, and I wasn't sure what to expect."

She has written this as a preface of the book:

"I started out not knowing much
certainly not about the outside world.
I could paint, but apart from that
there was not much I could do.
And then it came my way,
that sliver of chance which has
made it possible
for me to do this book.

Life is strange ---
You never know what awaits you."

My comments:  The story is gentle, giving tiny peeks into the lives of three women in contemporary India. The pictures are gorgeous. "Amrita Das paints in the Mithila tradition of fold art which originated from women living in rural communities in the state of Bihar (India)."  She paints in lines of red and black, coloring with two shades of green and I think that's all.  I'm not entirely thrilled with the way that the faces are drawn - a profile view that seems perhaps Grecian- but I guess it works. Beautiful.

Goodreads summary:  "Remarkable. The sparse, simple story feels timeless and universal, and the illustrations are as important to telling the tale as is the text. This is a book to be lingered over and savored." — Debbie Stoller, BUST
          On a train journey to a large city, a young woman notices a very poor girl. Who is she? Where is she going? What does her future hold? Hope Is a Girl Selling Fruit is a gentle, reflective account of a young woman’s thoughts and feelings as she comes into contact with the larger world. The rich imagery takes the story into another realm, inviting the reader to interpret it at many levels. Young Indian artist Amrita Das pushes the boundaries of her traditional art to radical new ends as she muses on women’s mobility, class, and choices.

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