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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Girl Reading


It has taken me a while to become engrossed by Katie Ward's Girl Reading. Surprising, given the topic is one I love: art history. I think the lack of dialogue punctuation has taken some adjustment as a reader, but now in the fourth chapter, I am used to her style.

Each chapter focuses on a painting of a female reading something, and almost all are based on real portraits, dating from 1333 to 2060. Sometimes, she gets to the subject of the portrait quickly, and other times it takes a while to reveal who that "girl reading" will be. Sometimes, the girl is a significant player in the narrative; other times she is just passing through the story.

"A Note" at the narrative's conclusion provides detailed information about the portraits used as the story's base. Viewing them online (her website has links: http://www.katieward.co.uk/?page_id=52) - and looking at her suggestions of "women and girls reading" via Flickr - brings the fictional characters closer in my mind.


8 comments:

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    1. It's fiction, Sharon, though her representations of the scenarios feel real.

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  2. i second sharon. what an interesting concept.

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    1. At first I thought it would be a great read-aloud for you, Brattcat, but I think the way it is written would make it difficult to provide voices for the characters.

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  3. The idea is reminding me a bit of Girl with a Pearl Earring...?...Thank you. Rita (former art teacher & library worker, children's departments, so this might be a great fit...)

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    1. It reminds me a lot of the fictional art history books like Tracy Chevalier's work and Susan Vreeland's work. Have you read CLARA AND MR. TIFFANY by Susan Vreeland? I love that one as well.

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    2. Yes, I had also been thinking of Girl in Hyacinth Blue. I will check out Clara & Mr. Tiffany, Thank you.

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  4. What a fascinating concept...women reading. I love it. A few years ago someone gave me a desk calendar with the same theme, and I've kept it. Incidentally, I've read all the books mentioned above. I, too, adore art history and revel in the great museums we have here in the Twin Cities. I think that the idea of women reading would make a great theme for my photo blog. Might try it.

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