THE BOOK OF MECHTILDE IMAGES

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Anna Ruth Henriques - Book of Mechtilde

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The Book of Mechtilde is based on the biblical and literary work, the Book of Job.  The main character, Mechtilde, replaces Job who has traditionally been regarded as a model of virtue;  Job is exemplified as the good person who is beset by misfortune and sickness, but who becomes known for his patience and faith.  Mechtilde, better known as Sheila Mechtilde Henriques, née Chong, also lived a virtuous life.  When I was eleven, she died of cancer, after nine years of illness.  She, like Job, was remembered for her inner strength and resilience.  Unlike Job who regains all that he has lost, Mechtilde's reprise from suffering came with death.  I wrote and illustrated her story as a contemporary illuminated manuscript, now in the collection of the Jewish Museum, New York. She was my mother.