Hope is a Girl Selling Fruit

Publisher: Tara Books

Review

Amrita Das has created a breath-taking picture book which can be enjoyed visually by younger readers. For older readers it contains a powerful message about the evolving position of women in traditional Indian life. Set within the context of a long railway journey, the narrator contemplates the plight of poor women, and the restrictions they face, but leaves us with the hope that springs from their resourcefulness.

Apart from its important core message, the beauty of the book lies in the Mithila artwork, a traditional style originally restricted to women. It incorporates scenes involving stylized, two-dimensional figures in a heavily decorated geometric gold, red and green landscape of minutely detailed buildings and trees, filled with ethnographic and religious references.

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