By Swapna Peri
This book, A Woven Life, is a memoir of Jenny Housego, a woman of many titles. She is an entrepreneur, an author and most importantly, British Textile Historian. Journalist Maya Mirchandani co-writes this book. This book mostly consists of Jenny’s memories dating back to when England was facing the war till the lands of saffron, Kashmir. She wanted to be a spy during her times of witnessing the Cold War.
She came to India in 1989 and started her first textile company. She and her husband David Housego both started a company named Shades of India, in 1992. Smitten by the colours and textures of Indian Textiles Jenny confesses that she is a great fan of Indian Artisans who wove great masterpieces.
Her story later talks about an encounter with a 16-year-old Kashmiri boy who has magic in his hands while weaving beautiful carpets. The book also talks about the famous Pashmina shawls of Kashmir. Life is never a bed of roses, and the same happened with Jenny.
She was attacked with partial paralysis in 2010, but she fought the tough times with her love towards art and weaving. Maya applauds her determination and mental strength while narrating Jenny and her journey.
Written in an easy and accessible language this book is quite interesting. Memoirs and biographies have always been artistic pieces of many experiences. In the same manner, this book entertains the art lovers and especially people who have this knack of interest in weaving will surely like the book.