Meera Lee Patel: gift upon gift

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Not long ago I posted here about an extremely gifted artist, Meera Lee Patel, whose delicate and soulful renderings of atmospheric worlds grace tea towels and greeting cards, tote bags and journals, even slingy chairs. You can find her work on Etsy and in Free People. You can follow her musings over Twitter, her process sketches on Instagram, her hope for the world in every line she draws, and next year Perigree Books will be releasing her book Being Me (But Better). I can't actually imagine a better Meera Lee, but I'm eagerly anticipating her book.

Yesterday, as a cadre of painters and window caulkers and windowsill fixers and stucco men finished the rescue of my modest bungalow home, a gift arrived from Meera, a package of most precious things. Number 37 of 50 of her keepsake Elephant and Moon (her illustrated story of an elephant seeking his place in the world). A handmade card: Grateful. A postcard. Her long-lettered words to me. She is so utterly embrace-able, this Meera Lee. And I am enormously lucky to have her in my life.

For look, above, at what she makes.

Soon, here, you'll find another inimitable work of art from Meera Lee, for Chronicle Books had the extraordinary stroke of genius to hire her as the cover artist for One Thing Stolen, the Florence novel due out next April. I've not yet seen the final cover. I have seen the intricate, intelligent watercolor. I can't wait to hold this book in my hand, for Meera's reading of the novel was so astute; her discovery of the small details make her cover illustration sing.

One Thing Stolen, which has a rare neurological disease at its heart, was not an easy book to write; it was, in fact, heartbreaking as I imagined myself inside the mind of frightened young girl. It emerged out of many drafts and deep considering. I stumbled until at last I found the light, and then I waited. Before I'd even seen a glimpse of Meera's cover art, I'd heard from Meera—words from a reader that will always matter to me.

Gift upon gift upon gift. And then yesterday's package.

When the cover art is ready for sharing, you will find it along with an interview with Meera here. Between now and then, Meera, the atmosphere is, as you write in Elephant and Moon, "feelings and fabrics from lifetimes before."


Serena said...

how wonderful is this! I am so glad that she'll be doing the cover for you. I think it will surpass any expectation

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