Thursday, 30 April 2015

Clutching Her Head in a Field

We return from this looooooong break in transmission with another case of a single stock photo proliferating like a weed. Here it is, again and again and again...










I can't attest to the qualities of most of these books, except for Elizabeth Taylor (the amazing writer, not the ludicrously overrated actress) , who is fucking awesome.

I'm 95% certain there's a Willa Cather book out there with this cover too, but I can't track it down.

With any luck, rather more frequent posts will be happening here soon.

11 comments:

Walter Underwood said...

Kent Haruf is fucking awesome, too. His books are set in the great plains, so this could be an appropriate cover, though I haven't read Eventide yet.

I really do not understand why they did not ask for a Peter Brown photo. Seriously. Peter's stuff is awesome, he was my photo prof at Rice. One of his books is a collaboration with Kent Haruf. I started reading Kent's books because of Peter.

http://www.amazon.com/West-Last-Chance-Kent-Haruf/dp/0393065723

JRSM said...

Thanks for that info, Walter. I'll have to start on Haruf. I know I have a copy of Plainsong around the house SOMEWHERE, deep in a box or a teetering pile; an ARC copy from my long-gone bookshop days.

Jane Housham said...

This is just a fantastic bit of sleuthing and gathering. How can one photo have been so over-exploited? Hats off to you for tracking them all down. Agree with you re Eliz. Taylor (both).

Brian Busby said...

Nino Ricci's Lives of the Saints received the 1990 Governor General's Award for English-language Fiction. Caused quite a stir at the time, mainly because it was a debut novel and came from a small press then located in Dunvegan, Ontario (no much more than a crossroads). That publisher, Cormorant, remains the publisher… and is bigger, but still small. I'll forgive its use of stock photography.

Should add that Lives of the Saints was later adapted as a made-for-TV movie starring Sophia Loren. I understand it's quite good.

matthew. said...

Here just to corroborate that Elizabeth Taylor is a fantastic writer. There's this weird secret history of woman writers coming after Woolf that have been forgotten after that postmodern hullabaloo and American narcissism of the 1950s and 60s (I'm looking at you, Updike, Mailer, and Roth). Writers like Rosamund Lehmann, Elizabeth Bowen, and Taylor all seem to have been cast aside by the public. Which is a tragedy. They should be read. A lot. They're fantastic.

JRSM said...

Jane: Some people can sing, some can dance, some can paint, some can even drive cars. I can spend too much time chasing down duplicate stock photos.

Brian: It sounds very interesting. It's still annoyingly hard to get Canadian-published books in Australia. Even small-press stuff from India is easier to buy online without getting a second mortgage. Very odd.

Matthuew: I'm with you there. The old green-spined Virago Modern Classics, from before the company was bought out by Little, Brown and the list gutted, are a treasure-trove of wonderful and near-forgotten writers. Do you know the work of Betty Miller? She's up there with Taylor, Lehmann, Bowen and Taylor, especially 'On the Side of the Angels', which Capuchin republished a couple of years ago before falling quiet.

drew said...

Whew, thank goodness you are back in action. Have missed you posting.

JRSM said...

Thanks!

Curiosity Show said...

Great to see you posting again. We look forward to much more.

OneArtLibrarianAmongMany said...

Hi Matthew
Virago reprint/ed the fantastic authors you mention, but its true, they deserve another renaissance. Persephone (who make beautiful endpapers, and a standard elegant cover for all their books) have also taken up the baton on the "weird secret history" - although they also publish forgotten books by men.
Glad you are back JRSM

JRSM said...

Cheers, Mr Show.
And OneArtLibrarianAmongMany is spot-on. I don't talk about Persephone much here because of the identical series covers, but they have brought back many excellent books (including, appropriately enough, another of Betty Miller's!).