Thoughts, News, &tc.

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So, aside for Same Same, I've got some other interesting books in the hopper. Several months after the novel is published, Crown/10Speed will be releasing a book called The Look of the Book, a comprehensive and heavily illustrated exploration of the meaning, history, value, mechanics and future of the book cover. Most importantly the book examines, in detail, the relationship between text and cover, and tries to unpack both the question of whether the cover may be considered a valid form of literary criticism, as well as whether or not the cover may be considered a work of art in its own right.  The book was co-written with Harvard professor David J. Alworth (Department of English, Hist/Lit, chair of Novel Theory) with whom I've taught. David is the author of Site-reading, a book on fiction, art, and social form, as well as The Art Novel, fiction, Digital Media and the Production of the Present. Our book was written over the last couple of years, and arose, specifically out of two of the Harvard classes we led, one class on visual signifiers in Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, and another on Sebald's Rings of Saturn. These explorations of word and image led to long conversations concerning the book cover as a remediation, and as a unique site of encounter; a place (arguably the only place) where 1. text 2. author 3. designer 4. publishing house, 5. reading public and the culture (writ large) all converge. I'm really excited by this book. And as I've drifted away from the profession of book design as a full-time practitioner, I'm pleased to be proffering, with David, what I hope to be a kind of summa on the topic.

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Und zen...

There's another novel in the works. Due to list-management issues, Same Same's publication (which as originally due to happen last Spring) was delayed (it is now coming this winter, with a pub date of Feb. 5), and faced with the extra wait, I found myself writing something new. It's been moving pretty rapidly, and I'm assuming at this point that the manuscript will be in decent form by early Spring. So keep eyes peeled for that. It is titled The Delivery, and the story concerns a delivery man who finds himself riding his power-assist bicycle far beyond the ambit of his previously circumscribed life.

Finally ...

Aside from the occasionally book cover, I've been working for Atlantic Media (with special emphasis on the Atlantic magazine) recruiting, designing, and rebranding (including work on the magazine. Look for the magazine's design relaunch this winter also). Much more news on all that later.

In terms of Same Same: for news on the upcoming publicity schedule—readings, etc— watch this space.