Thursday, May 8, 2008

Carol Devine Carson and Barbara Walters

To a performer, the word "audition" is one of the most powerful, hopeful, and scary words. As Barbara's golden name rises like a curtain above it, I get a sense of tension, like the intake of breath right before something big is about to happen. Of course, Barbara's name is powerful in its own right. I'm just glad there isn't a photo on this cover.

I immediately remembered Gore Vidal's Lincoln cover, from the early 80s. Some words are just so evocative, they speak louder without an image to back them up. Lincoln was a big, fat paperback with a creamy, glossy cover. I never read it, but it looked so yummy dripping from the bookshelf when I was a kid.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Susan Mitchell (?) The Story of a Marriage

There's a cool line pattern, like an etching, on top of this image - I wonder how they made it. All in all, the book looks great in the bookstore, and the type treatment reminds me of those old Douglas Sirk melodramas.

In San Francisco in 1953, narrator Pearlie relates the circumstances of her marriage to Holland Cook, her childhood sweetheart. Pearlie's sacrifices for Holland begin when they are teenagers and continue when the two reunite a few years later, marry and have an adored son. The reappearance in Holland's life of his former boss and lover, Buzz Drumer, propels them into a triangular relationship of agonizing decisions. Greer expertly uses his setting as historical and cultural counterpoint to a story that hinges on racial and sexual issues and a climate of fear and repression.