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The GhostBrush
Katherine Govier
Episode: P039
Broadcast dates: July 25 to August 07, 2022
Length: 30 mins
Host: Carole Harmon
Katherine Govier's historical novel, The Ghost Brush celebrates the life of Oei (hey you) the daughter, student, assistant and eventually fellow artist of Katsushika Hokusai, the most famous artist of the Edo period (1603 - 1867) in Japan . In The Ghost Brush Oei is a ghost narrator of her own life.

There is in this book a mystery to be solved; an intimate look at Edo, a closed culture poised on the brink of opening itself to the west; a portrait of a lifelong relationship between father and daughter; and a view into a closed and secret culture in which women were currency and citizens were not permitted to accrue wealth.

Oei became an acknowledged painter in her own time despite the restrictive social rules women lived under in the Edo period. Her significant contributions to Hokusai's later works are now acknowledged by some scholars, including attributions for some paintings credited to her father. Nevertheless her death and the fate of her paintings continues to be shrouded in mystery.

The sequel to The Ghost Brush, The Red Fuji, in which the ghost of Oei continues to search for her lost paintings is in a long lineup somewhere between finished manuscript and bookstores. We will announce a release date in our Writers Radio newsletter when we know it.

The Ghost Brush was published by Harper Collins. In the US it was titled The Print Maker's Daughter.

An extended edition of the book is available as an e-book from Apple Books and Kodo in the collection Katherine Govier Three Book Bundle In this edition there is another character, Rebecca, who becomes obsessed with Oei and joins the hunt for her lost paintings and for answers to questions of attribution of Hokusai's later works.

Find out more about this author and her other novels on her website: