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Authors: Katie Ward

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Girl Reading

BOOK: Girl Reading
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Praise from the UK for

G
IRL
R
EADING


Girl Reading
is a debut of rare individuality and distinction. Katie Ward inhabits each of her seven scenes, her seven eras, with a fluent and intuitive touch, and sentence by sentence, deft and mercurial, she surpasses the reader’s expectations. What is set down on the page has a rich and allusive hinterland, so that the reader’s imagination has a space to work, and what is unsaid has its own fascination. The writing is full of light and shadow, alive with fresh and startling perceptions.”

—Hilary Mantel, author of the Man Booker Prize–winning
Wolf Hall

“A real wow of a first novel . . . incredibly clever.”


The Times
(London)

“Katie Ward’s assured debut is inspired by that mysterious and provocative subject of a thousand visual images: a woman reading. . . . In each chapter, Ward twists a story around a real work of art. Her seven unpredictable tales serve up a lively, irreverent, and even feminist journey through history.”


Time Out London

“This isn’t a novel—it’s a time machine! . . . I guarantee the stories will relate to your own life in some way—if you’re planning to pack any holiday books this year, make sure
Girl Reading
is one of them.”


Cosmopolitan

Katie Ward’s kaleidoscopic first novel
immerses readers in the intimate tales behind the creation of seven portraits by artists ranging from Simone Martini to Pieter Janssens Elinga to a Flickr photographer. Told in seven chapters and peopled by girls and women caught in the act of reading,
Girl Reading
is an evocative work of fiction and a fascinating celebration of women in culture that arcs through time across seven centuries.

A young orphan poses nervously for a Renaissance maestro in medieval Siena. 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 young woman reading in a bar catches the eye of a 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.

Katie Ward’s
Girl Reading
is an astonishing act of imagination and humanity that explores our points of connection, our relationship to art, the history of women, and the importance of reading. Dazzlingly inventive and prescient,
Girl Reading
is a novel that not only surprises and satisfies but also announces the career of a brilliant new writer.

K
ATIE
W
ARD
was born in Somerset in 1979. She has worked in the public and voluntary sectors, including at a women’s refuge center, in the office of a member of Parliament, and in various community-based projects. She lives in Suffolk, England, with her husband and two cats.

MEET THE AUTHORS, WATCH VIDEOS AND MORE AT
SimonandSchuster.com
• THE SOURCE FOR READING GROUPS •

JACKET DESIGN BY REX BONOMELLI
JACKET ART: SIMONE MARTINI (1284–1344),
ANNUNCIATION,
DETAIL OF THE VIRGIN, UFFIZI, FLORENCE, ITALY
PHOTOGRAPH CREDIT: ERICH LESSING / ART RESOURCE, NY
COPYRIGHT © 2012 SIMON & SCHUSTER

Praise for
Girl Reading


Girl Reading
is a vivid portrait of a timeless subject.”

—Minneapolis StarTribune

“Fun and fleet-footed. Ms. Ward renders her settings in bright detail and shows her characters at captivating moments—the very traits that make genre interiors so appealing.”

—The Wall Street Journal

“Hot Read: ‘Seven scenes come together into one slide show . . . the best thing about this story is what’s not told: silence, mystery, and what’s outside the frame converge, showing that even the imagination can be—must be—limited. . . . The title is deceptive: the strength of this promising debut is not in “reading,” but in “seeing.” ’ ”

—The Daily Beast

“Ward’s sinuous language wraps around serious ideas concerning sex and love, freedom and power. . . . Throughout these stories’ deceptively straightforward prose and pleasant surfaces, there’s something here that reminds one of Katherine Mansfield’s short fiction. It’s exciting to imagine what she’ll write next.”

—The Boston Globe

“A luminously vulnerable debut novel. . . . Ward’s characters are so utterly relatable that you’ll feel you know them after a few sentences.”

—Oprah.com

“Undoubtedly the work of a writer to watch.”

—Kirkus

“We forget, often, that artifacts survive us, but survive they do, and that is one of the points that Katie Ward makes in her fascinating new novel,
Girl Reading
.”

—The Brooklyn Bugle

“An exquisitely rendered celebration of women and reading in seven portraits.”

—Shelf Awareness


Girl Reading,
with its intricately worked, wide-ranging scenarios, rewards the careful reader and would make a great book group selection, with plenty of latitude for discussion. It’s an impressive, intelligent debut.”

—Barnes & Noble Review

“A fascinating testament to the universal themes of art and literature and the spirit of femininity.”

—Bookpage

“Ward’s debut novel deftly weaves together seven beautifully crafted vignettes, each based on an actual painting or portrait of a girl or woman caught in the act of reading. The result is a kaleidoscopic rendering of intellectual women from the Renaissance to the present.”

—Ms. Magazine

“One of the many astonishing things about this astonishing and novel first novel is that the author makes the reader an implicit character in the act of creation. . . . Engrossing!”


The Washington Independent Review of Books

“Exquisitely written.”

—Daily Dose,
Powell’s Books blog

“A debut of rare individuality and distinction. Katie Ward inhabits each of her seven eras with a fluent and intuitive touch, and sentence by sentence, deft and mercurial, she surpasses the reader’s expectations. What is set down on the page has a rich and allusive hinterland, so that the reader’s imagination has a space to work, and what is unsaid has its own fascination. The writing is alive with fresh and startling perceptions.”

—Hilary Mantel

BOOK: Girl Reading
3.25Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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