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The Art of Hypothetical Book Design

6a0128776de906970c01310f44f6ab970c-800wi.jpgToday part-time book designer Charlie Orr launched a unique project–designing a hypothetical book cover for a book that a well-known author will never write. “I ask authors to imagine a book that they could, or might want to write, but never actually will, then write a description of that imaginary book. Then I design a cover for it,” Orr explained.

His inaugural post is based on an imaginary book suggested by National Book Award winner Colum McCann. Follow this link to see the full cover. Future installments of The Hypothetical Library will include imaginary books by David Lehman, Lydia Millet, and Thomas Kelly.

Here’s the jacket copy for McCann’s imaginary book: “In the 17th Century vast numbers of Irish men, women and children were forcibly transported to the American colonies by the British government. In this spectacular reinvention and examination of history, Colum McCann goes to the heart one of the great untold stories of our times as he follows a group of Irish indentured servants on their voyage to the West Indies, their plight on the Atlantic seas, their subsequent serfdom and their eventual liberation on the wave of a bloody revolution. This is a gripping portrayal of another century, another continent, another loss, told in McCann’s unique trademark prose, simultaneously stripped down and lyrical.”

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Nonfiction Book Proposal

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