Threads of Life
A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle
By Clare Hunter
The Hare with Amber Eyes meets The History of the World in 100 Objects: an eloquent history of the language of sewing over centuries and across continents.
The Hare with Amber Eyes meets The History of the World in 100 Objects: an eloquent history of the language of sewing
'Threads of Life is a beautifully considered book...Clare Hunter mixes the personal with the political with moving results.' TRACY CHEVALIER
**RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK**
For the mothers of the disappeared in 1970s Argentina, protest was difficult. Every Thursday they marched in front of government buildings wearing headscarves embroidered with the names of their lost children. Through sewing, they found a way to campaign. In Tudor England Mary, Queen of Scots was under house arrest and her letters were censored, so she sewed secret treason into her needlework to communicate with the world outside.
From the political propaganda of the Bayeux Tapestry and First World War soldiers with PTSD, to the maps sewn by schoolgirls in the New World, Threads of Life stretches from medieval France to contemporary Mexico, from a POW camp in Singapore to a family attic in Scotland. It is a chronicle of identity, protest, memory, power and politics told through the stories of the men and women, over centuries and across continents, who have used the language of sewing to make their voices heard, even in the most desperate of circumstances.
In an eloquent blend of history and memoir, Threads of Life is an evocative and moving book about the need we all have to tell our story.
Clare Hunter has been a banner-maker, community textile artist and textile curator for over twenty years and has established the community enterprise NeedleWorks in Glasgow. She was a finalist for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award, and had a story published in its 2017 Annual. She was also a recipient of a Creative Scotland Award in 2016. Threads of Life is her first book.
- Other details
- Publication date:
07 Feb 2019
- Page count:
It's an astonishing feat, this patchwork quilt of history, culture and politics, which takes us from Saxon England to colonised African tribes, Palestinian villages, rural China and the cramped homes of American slaves . . . Her highly impressive debut is a richly textured and moving record of a history that has largely being lost. — Christina Patterson, Sunday Times
Triumphant . . . an inspiration to anyone who has ever thought of picking up a needle and thread. — Jane Shilling, Mail on Sunday
Threads of Life is a beautifully considered book that reminds us of how much sewing plays a crucial part in expressing the many facets of our lives. Clare Hunter has managed to mix the personal with the political with moving results. Reading it made me pick up my needle with a new perspective. — Tracy Chevalier
A blend of history and memoir, the book roves across centuries and continents to reveal how sewing has played a crucial part in our lives - from courts and battlefields to prisons and drawing rooms... Many of the stories in Threads of Life are heart-breaking...This beautiful, moving book makes you want to rush out and grab a needle.
— Liz Hoggard, Radio Times
Enthralling... By unpicking the seams of the clothes on our backs, Clare Hunter has brought to light elements of history that have languished in our collective attic for far too long. Threads
of Life is a terrific book.
— Susan Flockhart, The Herald
Hunter's non-fiction debut reframes needlework as a powerful and political medium . . . Threads of Life is a compelling and beautifully written account of how marginalised peoples throughout history have used the language of sewing, embroidery and textiles to tell their neglected stories. — Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller
Enchanting — S Magazine
Fascinating — Daily Telegraph
Enthralling...beautiful... An inspiring and moving sideways look at history. — Eithne Farry, Sunday Express
Fascinating. — Press Association