there is an event...
Book Launch // Reading
Saturday, April 16, 2022
Night Heron is the debut novel of Meenakshi Chakraverti, co-designed with Simone Ellero and featuring artworks by Eli Cortiñas and Sara Matta.
Steeped in the living of rupture, the strength and fragmentation of memory, and the layering of life and art-making, Night Heron weaves together two parallel stories of women artists. 21st century Bengali-American artist, Pakhi, floats through the world on a non-quest that takes her to New York City, Berlin, and Bujumbura; 19th century Bengali writer, Mrinalini, lives in a joint family home in a declining Lucknow, persistently finding time and space to write. At the heart of the novel is Pakhi’s choice to leave her son, an uneasy decision that is mirrored in Mrinalini’s ambivalence regarding her own education and what doors are opened and possibly closed for herself and her children as a result of it.
Meenakshi chose to make this first edition an artwork-edition so that regardless of whether the stories inside are read, the book as object expresses the spirit of the novel—rupture, memory, layering, uncertainty, imperfection—in visual and tactile ways. The inclusion of artworks is also particularly apt given that the two protagonists meet through Mrinalini’s notebooks, which Pakhi finds at a market in Kolkata and begins to read and paint over as she faces the deceptive promises of independence, finding more in common with Mrinalini than she had expected.
The reading will be followed by a conversation, moderated by Pia Chakraverti-Würthwein, about rupture and continuity, life and art-making.
Meenakshi Chakraverti is a writer, consultant, and anthropologist. She worked for many years as an economist, and then as a reputed practitioner in the fields of conflict resolution and leadership development. She conducted her doctoral fieldwork in the Massif Central, much against the expectations of her professors that she would become an Indologist. She attended the fiction workshop at Under the Volcano in Tepoztlán, Mexico and was an artist/writer in residence at Djerassi in northern California and I-Park in Connecticut. https://www.meenakshichakraverti.com/
Pia Chakraverti-Würthwein is a curator living and working in Berlin.