Natural Born Book Covers

PWxyz, the blog arm of Publishers Weekly, ran a terrific article yesterday about visual art that seemed ready-made for book covers. Take this photograph of New York’s Twin Towers in the mist (by Andre Kertesz):

Delillo photo

And now see what the artist did with it to create the cover of the epic Don Delillo novel, UNDERWORLD:

Delillo Underworld

Or how about this gorgeous painting, Giovanni Boldini’s Profile of a Young Woman?

Oates art

Didn’t take much to transform it into the cover of Joyce Carol Oates’s The Accursed. (Isn’t it interesting that this art works by presenting the opposite of what the title would lead one to expect?)

Oates cover

Sometimes the art isn’t perfect just because it’s mentioned in a book, but simply because its appearance captures the mood of a novel, or in this case, its almost indescribable scope. Roberto Bolano references Jupiter and Semele, the Gustave Moreau painting, in the first part of 2666…the jacket designer felt both Moreau and Bolano’s art was “apocalyptic and kind of insane.”


Bolano art


Bolano cover

For even more perfect pairings of art and cover, read the complete PWxyz post. And look around you–maybe you’re staring at a cover-to-be right now!

{posted by AbbyZ}


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Don Delillo

Underworld is about the second half of the 20th century in America and about two New York residents, an artist and an executive, whose lives intertwine in the fifties and again in the nineties. With cameo appearances by Lenny Bruce, J. Edgar Hoover, Bobby Thompson, Frank Sinatra, Jackie Gleason and Toots Shor!

The Accursed

The Accursed

Joyce Carol Oates

A "postmodern gothic novel" from the master of knife's-edge suburban drama; as with all of JCO's work, the sleepy suburban setting hides secrets both dark and violent.



Roberto Bolano

A tour de force, and a massive read that swept most of the "best of" lists the year it was published. A masterpiece of 20th century fiction.



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