How deliciously ironic for a novel about secret identities and the Web pirates who expose them!
While the Internet gets busy searching photographer Bon Duke’s Facebook page, we shall simply call her “The Mona Lisa de Franzen.”
But who is she supposed to be in the novel?
That’s “Purity a.k.a. Pip,” Corral says, “or perhaps her mother?! It’s up to you, the reader, of course!”
This helps. A little. To me, that dour visage doesn’t look anything like irrepressible Pip, but she could be Pip’s embittered mother. Years ago. When she was forcing her boyfriend to sit down when he pees … .
But do I need to get my glasses checked? Why does she look slightly blurry?
“As you’re discovering the female lead in the book,” Corral explains, “you get the feeling that she is, too. It’s as if, in real time, she’s coming into focus.”
FSG arrived at this cover design after several different attempts. “In literary fiction, it’s not common to put the actual face of a character on a cover,” Corral says, “but, of course, there’s always a time and a place to break from the norm. We tried to echo [Franzen’s] past covers with their big color, bold type, more visually layered. In the end, this book felt different and needed to build its own identity.”
The British cover, designed by Fourth Estate, takes a different approach — bolder, faceless, rising sun! But Corral courteously approves. “It’s a beautiful and striking design focusing on the word ‘Purity’,” he says. “It’s wonderful to see how we, as designers, can come to such different solutions for the same novel.”