Friday, July 20, 2012

Why Do New Novels All Look Alike?

That's the question recently posed by the Atlantic.

From the piece...

There was something recognizable about those looping, seemingly handmade cursive letters. Was it déjà vu, or had we seen this cover someplace else before?

Maybe not this very cover, but several notably similar ones. Handscript-titled book covers with simple handmade illustrations have been used lately all over the upper echelons of fiction: Last year, Chad Harbach's divisive baseball bildungsroman
The Art of Fielding had its title curlicued across the front, like the franchise name on an old-style home-team jersey; meanwhile, Pulitzer Prize winner Jeffrey Eugenides' The Marriage Plot introduced itself to the world in a disarmingly dressed-down fashion, its name hurriedly jotted down over a comic-book graphic of a wedding band. Similarly, John Green's 2011 book The Fault In Our Stars, Mark Haddon's new release The Red House, Maggie Shipstead's June debut Seating Arrangements, and Giorgio Faletti's forthcoming Italian-import sensation A Pimp's Notes all feature hand-scrawled titles that largely dominate their covers, accompanied by only minimal artwork.

Examine a few more, like the assorted shorter works by Salmon Fishing In The Yemen author Paul Torday, and it would seem that this handicraft, homespun pattern is the hautest couture of the moment in book fashion.

... Or is it?

No comments: