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You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Color (or Can You?)

sebold.jpg We like a good book jacket story almost as much as we like a good book, and Entertainment Weekly serves one up in a sidebar to their profile of bestselling author Alice Sebold, she of The Lovely Bones. We figured the choice of red and a plummeting bergere for the cover of Sebold’s new novel, The Almost Moon, were inspired by the book’s tragedy-studded plot, which opens with the line, “When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily.” In fact, it had more to do with the preferences of Sebold’s husband and fellow novelist, Glen David Gold.

When the folks at Little, Brown first presented Sebold with the concept for The Almost Moon‘s jacket, they pitched a gauzy yellow, with that same fade-out wash and typeface as her giant best-seller, The Lovely Bones. She pointed out that the color too closely resembled the reissue of her memoir Lucky, and her husband pushed for the bracing tomato red. “When I saw it, I was like, ‘enh,’” she says. “But I like the red better. I just think of it as Blood Mountain.”

As for what’s between the covers, Lee Siegel slammed the book in last week’s New York Times, comparing it to “one very long MySpace page” and concluding, “This novel is so morally, emotionally and intellectually incoherent that it’s bound to become a best seller.” We guess you could say that the book had Siegel seeing red.

UPDATE: For more on the book, not the cover, check out our bookish sister blog, GalleyCat.

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