Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Firebird Raven

Here is the final cover for the upcoming paperback edition of the Raven: the final piece as conceived by Renato Alarcao.

You can check back through the proposals on earlier posts and see if you think it was the best choice. If not, which is your favorite?

Like most of the sketches, it's romantic and active. The gyre of the bird rising up from the lake sets the air and light into whirling motion, and it catches up Adanta's hair, shawl, and skirts.

The rich color and mysterious handling of light makes it a good pairing with Renato's image for the FSG jacket of Ingledove. This one has the drama of brightness tossing the dark into the air, but the malachite of this water will go well with the cobalt lake that Ingledove and Lang are crossing on the other jacket. Somewhere, up on a 17th floor in Rio, Renato is dreaming up his pictures right now--or maybe tossing his baby. His next U. S. project is a book for Candlewick, and I'm looking forward to that one.

And now my youngest is telling me that I need to write a book "for him." Maybe I'll make a deal; if he won't bring home any more pernicious winter bugs from his little Yankee elementary school, I just might do it.

6 comments:

  1. Gorgeous cover, Marly. Boy I've had some hideous ones, so it's always a joy when they get it right.

    And you're going to get the bugs anyway. Write the child a book!

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  2. Hi Marly,
    My favorite is probably the 11/27 sketch, followed by the final choice. I also liked the one of the horse.

    Can't wait to read the book!

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  3. For some reason my entire blog turned an elegant shade of blue, and everything else vanished.

    Why?

    E-mist? E-cloud? But I'm glad some people saw the new cover before it was eaten by the blue. And now I have reloaded the dratted thing.

    The 27th: yes, I like that one. And it's not all that far away from the final image. I must say that Renato Alarcao's ideas always seem lovely...

    I liked the horse as well--a challenge for an illustrator--and was reminded that Sendak changed from horses to "Wild Things" because he claimed that he couldn't draw horses. Though I think (unless I'm making it up) that the horses in the original WTWTA were adorable and looked like little wild moor ponies, full of vim and scramble.

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  4. Yes, the one of 11/27 is a close second to this one in my mind. The final cover, though, has great movement and drama and a sort of threatening air (is the book a little dark as well?).
    As for your beautifully written snow day posting some way above this one--how idyllic you make it seem, and how beautiful the picture.
    When I was picturesquely snowbound with three youngsters and no firewood and wonderful views from the cracked windows of my cabin, some years back, I fear my attitude was far less gracefilled.
    Though the trek over the hills to the nearest neighbor's home, baby clutched in arms and older kids bundled to the eyes, faithful dog bounding along, is one my daughter remembers now as romance and adventure. There was warmth and welcome and hot apple cider at the end of the journey.
    You could have made a magical story of it.

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  5. Oh, good.
    A bookseller approves! What sort of bookseller are you? Besides the writing kind, I mean... I shall troop over and see.

    Journeys do make good stories; your daughter's memory sounds lovely. My first "full-length" (well, it was shorter than is common, these 900-page days) novel, "Catherwood," was a journey of a mother and a daughter, though a bit more taxing and with no cider at the end. (Drat! Poor Catherwood.)

    I suppose writing is as much "white space" or "what to leave out" as what goes in. And in that snow-day post I left out the kid-squabbles over silly things and the littlest one's cry of "I'm bored!"

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  6. Yes, a bit dark!

    A serpent lady: that's bound to be shadowy. And it uses the Witchmaster lore brought from the Old World to the Southern backcountry.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.