Artist: Art of Healing and Power of Love, is written by Zainab Manzoor who is a researcher by profession, however, practices writing and painting as a hobby. This book is a creative amalgamation of both of her hobbies, which educates the readers both visually and linguistically. She can be found playing with words and colors in a setting that well suits her cognitive thinking skills.
This book plays with the duplicity of words. There is one word, yet it has multiple meanings and thousands of interpretations, and it is upon the reader to suit the word to themselves. The book allows its readers to find beauty in the darkest of circumstances, which makes almost everything surreal. Therefore, the book has thousands of emotions encapsulated within it, many of which are dark and hence cannot be digested by everyone. It carries individuality, love, self-love, pain, anger, justice, injustice, and everything within it. The book is divided into brief sections which cater to different narratives of her life and have different stories to tell.
The author writes that if it weren’t for the hurdles and obstacles in her life, she would not have become the person that she is at the moment. Throughout her childhood, her teenage years, and now adulthood, she truly never felt alone because of her best friend. Therefore, she has also dedicated the title of the book to her friend, who very deeply knows the art of healing and love. The author is also very grateful to her father, who, within the patriarchal society of Pakistan, raised a strong woman and protected her from all sorts of pressures in society. The author makes us realize that the person that we are today is not because of our own efforts, but rather of every individual who has supported us in any way possible and was there for us in both difficult and better times. She credits the stories and inspirations that she has written about in this book to life as we know it. The book is divided into many brief sections, which are dedicated to different parts of her life, and each has a distinctive story to tell.
The book is filled with multiple stories which have different narratives; however, the author does not rely on words solely to tell her vision. Although poetry leaves it to the imagination what the author is trying to convey, which strengthens every reader to make their own meaning from the text, each poem is also accompanied by a visual, which deepens the essence of the book. Under the chapter titled “Chaos”, we find the following:
The graphic is creatively tied to the theme of chaos as a scribble has replaced the facial expressions of the woman. The poem itself reads:
“Her life is shifting from grey to red,
The storm is turning to set,
The eyelashes are no more wet,
Feet that crossed the bridge of burning coals are now on a rest”
When you read this text in isolation from the graphic, one can perhaps not figure out its true essence. However, we now know that the shift from grey to red, or the storm that is heading her way all lead towards a certain chaos. We are also able to tell that the feat crossed burning coal is a metaphor for the difficulties the author encountered in her life. This is the power of the book where it narrates the importance of healing each other and the way it can be achieved through poetry and design.
Here is the interview link to know more about the author and her journey.