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Publisher Description

In 1970, Sara Ehrenreich boards a small plane and returns to New York City with much fanfare; she will be featured in Life magazine. She has not left Ta'un'uu–the South Seas island upon which she and her husband, Philip, were marooned during a storm–in more than thirty years. Sara doesn’t know that man has landed on the moon. She has never seen a ballpoint pen. Her body is covered, head to toe, in tattoos.

Flashback: it’s 1918 and Sara, a shop girl and aspiring artist, meets Philip, a wealthy member of the avant-garde elite. The two fall in love, marry, and collaborate to make art, surrounded by socialites and revolutionaries–until the Depression cripples not just Sara and Philip, but most of their patrons. When Philip is offered a job gathering masks from the South Seas, they jump at a chance to escape America’s sorrows, traveling to Ta’un’uu for what they think will be a week’s stay.

The rest is history–a history Sara records on her skin through the traditional tattoos that become her masterpiece and provide an accounting of her days. Narrated in vivid and starkly moving prose, The Tattoo Artist reminds us of the unforeseeable forces that shape each human life.

Fiction & Literature
August 23
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

Rrowz ,

Memorable book

I read this book about ten years ago and have since considered it one of the best that I've ever read. The story is rare and unexpected and, I would say, haunting and the author draws the characters with a poignancy that makes them and their story an unforgettable one. Looking forward to savoring it a second time.

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