Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Left: Dorothy Baker, Cassandra at the Wedding. New York Review Books edition.
Right: Dorothy Baker, Cassandra at the Wedding. Virago Modern Classics edition.

Dorothy Baker's 1962 novel was dedicated to the painter David Park, one of whose paintings appropriately graces the cover of the NYRB edition. Virago Modern Classics, on the other hand, has decided to give Baker's novel a chick-lit make-over. Which cover do you find more appealing? Are women more likely to pick up a book—even a neglected classic like Cassandra at the Wedding—if it has a chick-lit cover?


Jim H. said...

The book is dedicated by its author to a painter and one of that painter's works appears on the cover. That gets my vote regardless of my personal cover-art tastes.

I do like the painting better than the cartoon, but that could be my snobbery showing itself again.

Jim H. said...

Another thought: Is this important? The content is obviously the main thing, not the cover. But I have been known to buy books, beer, and music based in part on the appeal of the packaging.

As an impressionable youth, I talked my parents into getting me a TCU football jersey for no other reason than that I liked the colors.

Myrna CG Mibus said...

Side by side in a book store, I would pick up the chick-lit covered book over the one with the painting on the cover.

That said, the green background on the classic cover really is appealing and does catch my eye and says "classic book" to me.

The chick-lit cover suggests fun summer reading and would probably trick me into reading this neglected classic.

The cover is much classier than most chick-lit covers so gives me the feeling that the book will be worth reading more so than, say, The View from Castle Rock - the headless woman thing does nothing for me (I can't imagine my head on that skinny of a body and wouldn't want to!) and this cover just looks, well, sort of like the book is going to be fluffy and shallow.

Based on covers alone, of the three chick-lit covers you've posted, I'd read Runaway.

Just one woman's opinion....

New Poem: "Phrasebook"

My poem " Phrasebook " has been published online in Ergon: Greek/American Arts and Letters .