In January of 2002, Arun Gandhi and I began to work together on the text for Grandfather Gandhi. After many years of revision: layering, deepening, narrowing, the book was offered a contract by Atheneum/Simon & Schuster in 2010.
Then the hunt for the perfect illustrator was on. In the summer of 2011, our editor, Namrata Tripathi, sent Arun and I a few sample watercolor paintings by a new talent, Evan Turk. Seeing Evan’s vibrant, alive, and loving images of the man who was called Mahatma, Great Soul, brought tears to my eyes.
When we saw the mixed media approach Evan used, dressing the figures, using handspun cotton from a book charka, and all the other amazing details of Arun’s time with his grandfather on the Sevagram ashram come to life, our long journey to publication was more than worth it. Upon seeing the final book, Arun responded to the creative team, “The book has taken a beautiful form. I am excited about it.”
As we all are. —Author Bethany Hegedus