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Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle

Clare Hunter

2 Reviews

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Embroidery crafts

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.

A history of sewing and embroidery, 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.

From the political storytelling of the Bayeux tapestry's anonymous embroiderers and Mary, Queen of Scots' treasonous stitching, to the sewing of First World War soldiers suffering from PTSD and the banner-makers at Greenham Common, THREADS OF LIFE stretches from medieval France to 1980s America, from a Second World War POW camp in Singapore to a family attic in Scotland. It is as much about identity, protest, memory and politics as craft and artistry.

In an eloquent blend of history and memoir with a unique understanding of craft, Clare Hunter's THREADS OF LIFE is an evocative and moving book about the need we all have to tell our story.

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Praise for Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle

  • 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. - The Bookseller

  • 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.

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Clare Hunter

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.

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