I probably pay too much attention to book covers. When I read the back cover, it’s usually to check out the photo credit rather than read more about the book. Having been a literature major, I’ve pretty much kept this little inclination under wraps. Until now.
Covering Photography is an archive I ran into this week that connects book covers and photography. When I saw this in the bookstore a couple of years ago, I could remember Richard Misrach as the author of the cover image of this book but not Norman Mailer as the author himself.
There’s a calm melancholy about Robert Adams’ images, but being put on the cover of a book on small-town crime imbues it with a sense of unease. It’s not just the image creating a tone for the book, but the image itself changes, becomes darker.
And using Robert Frank for this edition of Kerouac’s On the Road is perfect, given that Kerouac wrote the introduction to Frank’s The Americans.
The bookstore is a gallery.