In mid-November, Vintage Books will release an unusual volume by Jhumpa Lahiri.
Titled The Clothing of Books, it will explore a vital part of book-making that reviewers don't talk enough about – the book jacket. Here's the synopsis:
How do you clothe a book?
In this deeply personal reflection, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jhumpa Lahiri explores the art of the book jacket from the perspectives of both reader and writer. Probing the complex relationships between text and image, author and designer, and art and commerce, Lahiri delves into the role of the uniform; explains what book jackets and design have come to mean to her; and how, sometimes, “the covers become a part of me.”
For a taste of what’s coming, read Lahiri’s 2015 speech The Clothing of Books here:
The first time I see one of my covers, while thrilling, is always upsetting. No matter how effective or intriguing it may be, there always exists, between us, a disconnect, a disequilibrium. The cover already knows my book, while I have not yet made its acquaintance. I try to get used to it, to get close to it.