Judging a Book by Its Cover: The Covers of Alain Mabanckou's Novels

by - 09:16

I absolutely love book covers, especially a beautifully designed one. It's also no secret, I judge books by their covers. I've admitted it a few times here - I even have a tumblr dedicated purely to book covers. 

This month I've been reading Alain Mabanckou's novels that have been translated into English, and while I have thoroughly enjoyed them so far (I'm currently reading Black Bazaar) I couldn't end the month without acknowledging these four book covers.

The novels, which were published by Serpent's Tail in the UK, were designed by Gavin Morris and illustrated by Bill Bragg (with exception of Black Bazaar which was illustrated by Bill Bragg but I don't think was designed by Gavin Morris). I absolutely love them, think they are gorgeous, and wouldn't even be able to tell you which one I loved more. 

They are striking, pretty cool and I love that you can instantly tell it's an Alain Mabanckou novel from the design. After reading his novels for a month, a close friend of mine (who's not even into reading) could instantly tell who I was reading and would ask, "Is that another Alain Mabanckou novel you're reading?" I think, Blue White Red (Bleu-Blanc-Rouge) and Tomorrow I Will be 20 Years Old (Demain J'Aurais Vingt Ans) might be translated next year. If they are, I can only hope that they will be published by Serpent's Tail and Gavin Morris and Bill Bragg collaborate on the book cover design. Here's to hoping.

Also if you're into these things, check out Bill Bragg's illustrations - they are pretty stunning (as well as his magazine Le Gun and illustrations for Folio Society).

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