PERSONAL: Female. Hobbies and other interests: Papermaking.
ADDRESSES: Home—NJ. Agent—Mapin Publishing, c/o Grantha Corporation, 31 Somnath Rd., Usmanpura, Ahmedabad 380 013, India.
CAREER: Anthropologist, researcher, exhibit curator, lecturer, and writer. World Paper, Inc., Bergenfield, NJ, founder. Former consultant to U.S. Aid for International Development and United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
AWARDS, HONORS: Indo-American Fellowship Award.
Gift of the Conquerors: Hand Paper-making in India, Grantha Corporation (Middletown, NJ), 1997.
SIDELIGHTS: Anthropologist Alexandra Soteriou has had a continuing interest in the art of papermaking in India since 1985. Researching this subject intensely by traveling throughout India and meeting with the artisans who still practiced hand papermaking, she decided she would do what she could to keep the craft from fading into obscurity. Practicing the art of paper-making herself, she also founded World Paper, Inc., which works to promote the craft, and she published an illustrated book on the subject, Gift of the Conquerors: Hand Paper-making in India, in 1997.
Gift of the Conquerors is used to help others learn papermaking, while offering an extensive history of the process and discussing its cultural links with the political and religious tides of India. The book also includes passages on the lives of papermakers, a map that illustrates where the country's important papermaking regions are, recipes and methods of papermaking, a variety of paintings and drawings, and a thorough bibliography. Papermaking in India, where it was introduced by Muslims centuries ago, had fallen out of practice at the time the author was visiting that country. But with the help of Soteriou's and other's efforts, it experienced a revival. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, India was one of the leading countries continuing the art.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
India in New York, July 30, 1999, p. 14.
Library Journal, June 15, 1999, p. 76.*