My last post was about the covers of Margaret Atwood’s books in the Canada. Now I’d like to turn to the cover designs of her books in the US and the UK. Like McClelland, Atwood’s American publisher, Anchor, also created a consistent template (black strip with authors name and colored strip with novel’s title at the bottom, with the image, usually a collage, taking about two-thirds of the space, at the top). I can’t say they’re as bad as the old Canadian covers, but then they’re not terribly attractive either. There are a few exceptions, however: maybe because they’re the last books of fiction she published, The Blind Assassin, Moral Disorder, Oryx and Crake, and The Year of the Flood have their own individual cover designs (I haven’t included them here).
In the UK, Atwood’s books are divided between two publishers. Vintage, a publishing house renowned for its stunning cover work, owns the rights for Bodily Harm, Life Before Man, Bluebeard’s Egg, Dancing Girls, and The Handmaid’s Tale. They’ve created a consistent templates for their catalogue of Atwood paperbacks. The other covers feature figures cut out in paper, which are a little bit strange but certainly intriguing. I love the typography they use to write Atwood’s name, with the leafy double-Os.
The exception in the Vintage Atwood catalogue is The Handmaid’s Tale, for which they have no less than four different paperback covers: one as part of their normal Atwood series, one for their Vintage Classics series, on in thier Vintage Future Classics, as well as a special edition for the 21st anniversary of the publishing house.
Virago, which has the publishing rights for many more of Atwood’s books in the UK, like The Blind Assassin, Alias Grace, Cat’s Eye, The Rober Bride, and so on, commissioned talented graphic designer Nathan Burton to create the covers for their collection of Atwoods. The result is stunning, and the series remains one of my favourite cover designs ever. These have all been showcased on the Caustic Cover Critic’s blog before, I put a few just to give you an idea. Aren’t they wonderful?