RAY DAVIES – Johnny Rogan
Johnny Rogan’s revelatory biography presents the most frank and intimate portrait yet. The bitter lawsuits, the punch-ups, a near-fatal shooting, a four-year ban from entering the US and one of the most ferocious and abusive brotherly relationships in music history are interwoven with vivid social history.
Featuring cover photography by Ebet Roberts for Getty Images, this definitive biography will be published by The Bodley Head in March 2015.
O, LOUIS - Hugo Borst
'Am I so smart or are you so stupid?' - Louis van Gaal
Hugo Borst is an award-winning writer, journalist and TV pundit. He is also a close friend of Louis van Gaal. Well, he used to be.
O, Louis is Hugo’s attempt to get to grips with this larger-than-life character. Full of outrageous stories and unintentionally hilarious encounters, Borst details his quest to understand the man and the breakdown in their friendship.
Out in November from Yellow Jersey Press.
JEANETTE WINTERSON SERIES
Creating a new series style for one of our favourite authors was no mean feat. Many avenues were explored including a more photographic approach and a purely typographic route.
Designed and illustrated in house, the final covers above were chosen to echo Jeanette’s voice. Her writing is like no one else’s: passionate, punchy, lucid and lyrical, and each cover aims to represent a tiny bit of this to the reader. The clash between organic materials/objects and something a bit sleeker helps portray the sexual nature of some of the subject matter and its surreal tones.
CLAXTON - Mark Cocker
Claxton is out this week and published by Jonathan Cape. We asked the illustrator Jonathan Gibbs to write a piece about working on this project.
"Early last year I met up with Mark Cocker and we walked down to the Claxton marshes, near to his home in Norfolk. He wanted to show me a Bush Cricket, among other things. These were rather audible, all around us, and eventually we found one.
We talked about the book and how the illustrations should be suitably evocative and in the spirit of the writing. I believed that they should be clear, expressive and convincing, although not necessarily naturalistic. I make illustrations in the form of wood engraving, largely in black and white. Colour is used sparingly! This involves cutting an image into the end-grain surface of the wood, then hand-printing onto a Japanese paper.
I began with a series of drawings from life, memory, imagination and museum reference. The drawings formed the basis for the final cuts. I draw spontaneously, and strive for a flowing, linear rhythm which gives an underlying structure to the image. The creature to be depicted either emerges or is attached to this framework: it is a compositional device. I like to work into areas of the image in more detail, leaving parts of the block more open. Wood Engraving tends to be on a small-scale and is a somewhat technical process, I suppose, but it seems to liberate my imagination and I can work quickly and decisively. I try not to prepare too much, but engrave intuitively and directly into the woodblock.”
VINTAGE CLASSICS GRAHAM GREENE
Graham Greene was born on this day in 1904. To celebrate, we are pleased to share our Vintage Greene series in its entirety. A total of 29 covers were created with photographer Tim Hetherington, beginning back in 2004 to coincide with Greene’s centenary and concluding this year with Reflections and Collected Essays.
Next year sees the release a new look for classic crime author, and Queen of crime-writings Golden Age, Margery Allingham.
With a series of classic 1930/40s murder mystery stories, the brief was to rejacket the books with a colourful and bold new approach, adding a hint of nostalgia.
The series was designed and illustrated in house.
THE STRANGE LIBRARY - Haruki Murakami
‘All I did was go to the library
to borrow some books’
The Strange Library is a unique and sinister tale of a boy who goes to a library to borrow a book and then a surreal nightmare ensues. I wanted to evoke a distorted nostalgia for the library, its corridors and its dusty shelves.
During my design process I became inspired by the visual ephemera of libraries, such as date stamps and issue cards. I have used an actual library pocket on the outside of the first edition – fans who queued overnight at Haruki Murakami’s public signing at Waterstones Piccadilly and were given a unique teaser library card will be able to insert this into the pocket. I designed the cover with a disturbing colour combination to reflect the pervading tone of malice within the novel: a violent magenta background, the fading office blue of the library pocket and the acid yellow label.
The text of The Strange Library is fully illustrated throughout, with a variety of drawings, images, illustrations, and photographs; and they are taken from a wealth of printed sources; from a 1950s cookery book to Birds of the British Islands, 1907, a book on popular astronomy from 1894 to a Victorian book on Locks and keys. The majority of the illustrations were sourced from old books I found in the London Library. Founded in the 1840’s, the library is a labyrinth crammed to the ceiling with treasures on seemingly every subject. The metal stacks date from 1890s and are a marvel of architecture, steel grille floors allowing you to see to other floors above and below. Here are housed the books in Science and Miscellaneous, our favourite sections for the sort of research we did.
My picture researcher and I became literally lost in its corridors! There was a great sense of achievement when we pulled out a hidden gem that matched a particular line or part of Murakami’s text. I was interested in how the style of illustration plates and printing techniques evoked a certain period. My favourite was the almost fluorescent colours found in the plate section of a 1950’s German cookery book. For some pages like that of the caterpillars, I had to carefully amalgamate images from different sources. Only two illustrations had to be commissioned for the book as we just couldn’t find images for doughnuts or a ball and chain.
We enjoyed the feel of the books, the delicate tissue held between plates sections, richly elaborate marbled endpapers, the binding of the books and the yellowed sticky that held odd pages together. Faded, folded, mottled and creased even the ‘blank’ pages were of aesthetic interest.
The Strange Library will be published in hardback with specially designed text and illustrations throughout on 2 December 2014, £12.99, translated into English from the Japanese by Ted Goossen. An ebook edition will also be available.
A BUZZ IN THE MEADOW - Dave Goulson
Another call to arms for nature lovers everywhere, Dave Goulson’s follow up to A Sting in the Tale tells the story of not only bumblebees, but other creatures too. From learning about the importance of houseflies and why butterflies have spots on their wings, to dragonfly sex, bedbugs and wasps.
For the cover we commissioned twelve new paintings by the wonderful Louise Bird whose work on A Sting in the Tale effortlessly portrayed Dave Goulson’s account of a lifetime studying bumblebees.
THE ROOM - Jonas Karlsson
The Room is a short, sharp and fiendish fable in the tradition of Franz Kafka and Samuel Beckett. It is a quirky and unsettling tale about a compulsive bureaucrat, an open plan office and a secret room that only he can can see, apparently…
If you have ever toiled in an office, felt like the world was against you or questioned the nature of reality then this is the novel for you.
We loved the concept of the US cover (bottom left), designed by Christopher Brand with photography by George Baier. However for our edition we wanted to further explore the novel’s theme of reality versus imagination. We asked illustrator Harry Malt to create a stark and intriguing scene around the figure, with Bjorn’s vision of ‘the room’ mirrored on the back of the jacket. The text is also wonderfully illustrated throughout.
Published by Chatto & Windus in January.
SAPIENS - Yuval Noah Harari
100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens.
This gripping and compelling read covers the whole history of humanity in ways you wouldnt have thought. It challenges everything we thought we knew about being human, our thoughts, our actions, our power and our future.
The thumb print on the cover is a simple yet potent symbol of mankind and also stongly denotes each persons individuality. The thumb print also reminds us of the earliest marks of man that have come down to us, handprints on the walls of caves left by hunter-gathereers.
Sapiens is published by Harvill Secker on 3rd September
THE STRANGE LIBRARY - Haruki Murakami
'All I did was go to the library to borrow some books'.
The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami will be published in hardback by Harvill Secker with specially designed text and illustrations throughout on 2nd December 2014.
Last Saturday hundreds of fans queued overnight to attend a public signing by Murakami at Waterstones Piccadilly. They were given an early teaser for The Strange Library that had been designed in the form of an old-fashioned library card. It very subtly featured the publication date and #strangelibrary.
This uniquely dark tale is suggested on the cover through its disturbing colour combinations; the violent magenta background, the fading office blue of the library pocket and the acid yellow label. More details on the fully illustrated spreads will follow at a later date.
MURAKAMI POSTER COMPETITION - Winners
A huge thank you to everyone who entered our competition celebrating the arrival of Haruki Murakami.
Drawn randomly from over 1000 entries, below is a list our our lucky winners and we’ll be in touch shortly to discuss delivery of your prize!
THE FOUR BOOKS - Yan Lianke
This is a courageous book from one of China’s most important writers.
Set in Zone 99 of a Labour Camp during China’s ‘Great Leap Forward’, the book follows a group of imprisoned intellectuals undergoing re-education. Monitoring this opressive regime is a preadolescent boy known as the Child.
Faced with harvesting impossible quotas of wheat, and encouraged to inform on the obedience of others, the inmates are rewarded with paper rosettes in the form of small red blossoms, medium red blossoms and pentagonal stars.
The design centres around the motif of four. This could suggest the four inmates – musician, author, scholar and theologian – or how the book divides into four narratives, echoing the four texts of Confucianism and the four Gospels of the New Testament. It also references the seemingly innocent and playful paper blossoms and how they conceal a darker and more disturbing story.
The Four Books is published by Chatto and Windus in March 2015.
THE CHILDREN ACT - Ian McEwan
The cover for this book features a detail from Magnum photographer Gilles Peress. The young man/boy in the photograph is leaping over a puddle. He is slightly blured, in motion, his arms up at an angle to help him over the puddle. One foot, is the only point of contact with his reflection. In the full photograph he is in front of flats, to work with the content of the book the figure needed to be isolated, becoming an iconic image when small. It seems to work so well on so many levels. With reference to the text, it reminds you both of the Siamese Twins and of Adam. And it of course works so well with the title.
Published by Jonathan Cape on 2nd September