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Vanitha Sankaran

WATERMARK

The year is 1320 in France, and writing, reading, and the supply of costly parchment are under complete control by an increasingly corrupted Church. When Auda, the daughter of a papermaker in the small town of Narbonne, is born albino, she falls victim to an act of superstitious violence that leaves her a mute. Yet as Auda grows into womanhood, she reclaims her voice using her father's cheap “cloth parchment” to write troubadour poetry about courtly love.

Already shunned by the villagers as witch, Auda continues to draw attention through her unwomanly pursuits, from the interest of the town’s lecherous Vicomte, to a secret band of heretics, to the dreaded Inquisition roaming the French countryside. Ultimately, risking betrayal, torture, and even death, Auda must decide how significant her writing truly is in her quest for love and a sense of...

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