As a book designer, photographer and novelist, Barbara Hodgson is a founding partner of Byzantium Books with Nick Bantock. Since 1995, her works of illustrated fiction have included The Tattooed Map, The Sensualist, Hippolyte's Island and The Lives of Shadows. These works combine text, ephemera, maps and handwritten notations, usually with exotic locales, in keeping with her series of non-fiction titles.

Set in Morocco, The Tattooed Map merges a modern-day murder with the travels of a woman named Lydia who is horrified to discover a detailed map is spreading on her hand and onto her wrist. In a similar vein, or veins, the heroine of The Sensualist, a woman named Helen, discovers she is losing her five senses while riding on a train to Vienna. Hippolyte's Island (Raincoast, 2001) is a novel in which Hippolyte Webb sets out for the South Atlantic on a weather-beaten sailboat to find a mysterious group of lost islands. Financed with an advance for a new novel, she brings back a story about the mysterious group of islands--and has to face her editor. Set in Damascus after World War II, The Lives of Shadows (Chronicle, 2004) is the story of an Englishman, Julian, who becomes enthralled with a beautiful house he has inherited. He tries to unravel its history while being threatened with eviction for false ownership. Hodgson went global again with a non-fiction collection about adventurous female travellers from the past 300 years in No Place for a Lady (Greystone 2003) in which she re-introduces the likes of Isabella Bird, who explored Japan on horseback, and Lady Ann Fanshawe, who disguised herself as a cabin boy. Her other non-fiction books include The Rat: A Perverse Miscellany (Greystone, 1997) a compendium of rat facts, fiction, lore and art; and In the Arms of Morpheus (Greystone), her history of laudanum, morphine and patent medicines. Hodgson has also collaborated on a fictional guidebook, Paris Out of Hand and provided the text for a limited edition work with artist Shinsuke Minegishi entitled Good and Evil in the Garden (2004), published by Rollin Milroy. In 2005, she produced Italy Out of Hand: A Capricious History and Dreaming of East: Western Women and the Exotic Allure of the Orient (Greystone). [See profile below]

In Trading in Memories: Travels Through a Scavenger's Favorite Places (2007), Hodgson takes her readers on a trip to markets and antique shops from Brussels to Marrakech, Damascus to Portland. Greystone Books sold the English-language rights in Australia and New Zealand to Hardie Grant, the German rights (world) to Gerstenberg Buchverlag, and the Spanish rights (world) to Editorial Océano, S.L.

[Photo by Chick Rice]

The Tattoed Map (Raincoast, 1995)
Paris Out of Hand (Chronicle, 1996). By Karen Elizabeth Gordon; contributors: Barbara Hodgson and Nick Bantock.
The Sensualist (Raincoast, 1998)
The Rat: A Perverse Miscellany (Greystone, 1997)
Opium: A Portrait of the Heavenly Demon (Greystone, 1999)
Hippolyte's Island (Raincoast, 2001)
In the Arms of Morpheus: The Tragic History of Laudanum, Morphine and Patent Medicines (Greystone, 2001)
No Place for a Lady (Greystone 2003)
The Lives of Shadows (Chronicle, 2004)
Evil in the Garden (Milroy, 2004)
Italy Out of Hand: A Capricious History (Greystone, 2005)
Dreaming of East: Western Women and the Exotic Allure of the Orient (Greystone, 2005)
Trading in Memories: Travels Through a Scavenger's Favorite Places (Greystone, 2007)

[Alan Twigg / BCBW 2007] "Fiction" "Art" "Women" "Travel"