An author, publisher and curator, Gita Wolf founded the publishing imprint Tara Books and is known for the illustrated children’s books she has published and authored in collaboration with folk artists from across India. Through her work, she has advocated for the preservation of traditional forms of storytelling as well as sustainable methods of publishing and bookmaking, such as screen printing and the use of handmade paper.
After a Master’s degree in English from the University of Erlangen (now Friedrich–Alexander University Erlangen–Nürnberg), Wolf began teaching comparative literature in Germany. In 1994, she sold her first book, The Very Hungry Lion, to Annick Press, Canada, at the Frankfurt Book Fair. She returned to India and co-founded Tara Books in Chennai later that year. Wolf’s The Very Hungry Lion (1996), illustrated by Indraprimit Roy, was their first publication. Over the course of her time at Tara Books, she has authored over twenty books, including Puppets Unlimited (1998), Following My Paintbrush (2011) and Knock! Knock! (2018).
Wolf has made efforts towards bringing the folk arts into the contemporary arts space by using folk art to illustrate her stories by including the works of kalamkari and Gond artists in her books, as well as reviving folk tales as new stories for children. Through Tara Books, she has also worked with artists from indigenous communities in other countries such as Mexico and Australia. In 2015, she received the Aesop Accolate for her contributions as an author. She has also worked as a curator with collections of folk art, exhibiting at the Itabashi Museum, Tokyo, among others.
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