Thursday, March 7, 2013

The cover of HILD

Coming 11.12.13

 
This is the cover of my novel, Hild (available for pre-order) which will be published in the US on 12 November 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (When I know UK and other publication dates I'll post them.)

I love it. It's not perfect.

First, what I love. As this is a JPEG, the colours are not entirely reliable. But the physical object will be stunning: uncoated, textured coverstock with the main title in gleaming gold. Drop-dead gorgeous. The artists, twin Italian sisters called Anna and Elena Balbusso, have done some award-winning covers for classics by writers such as Pushkin and Atwood.

I love the way Hild looks directly at her audience, utterly self-contained. I particularly admire the Botticelli-like face, and her hair, which is the exact shade of chestnut I'd imagined.


The artists have captured the face of a girl-woman with a thousand-yard stare, who has faced death and made terrible decisions since the age of eight, who looks out with the clarity of one who knows life is an undiscovered country full of joy and patterns to be understood. Hild is born in difficult circumstances and survives because she has an extraordinary mind and a will of adamant. She lives at the very edges of the constraints of her time—but is still constrained.

So, as I say, I love it. I do have two quibbles. The seax should hang horizontally, parallel to her belt. And I'm pretty sure there weren't any chainmail coifs in early seventh-century Britain. (Even if there were, Hild would not have worn one. Constrained, remember?)

What do you think?

13 comments:

mordicai said...

Ha ha ha not going to lie the horizontal seax thing totally occurred to me.

Jennifer D said...

I wondered about that seax too! But I liked how they made it stand out with the type, so I figured it was good. :) And I wondered about the chainmail too, but I still like it as is. Get's the point across, I think. : )

Nicola Griffith said...

Mordicai, you've been hanging out with the wrong people...

Nicola Griffith said...

Jennifer, yep, sometimes you just have to go with the overall intent and not get hung up on the details.

Anonymous said...

I like the cross dotting the i. Is it intended to be similar to the one found in an Anglo-Saxon grave earlier this year. I think it was attached to her clothing, sewed on almost like a button.

Kate said...

I wondered about the chain mail, but I love the cover, it is so beautiful, and should grab a lot of attention from bookstore shelves.

Nicola Griffith said...

Anon, yes, it's very like the cross found with the young woman in Trumpington Meadows.

Nicola Griffith said...

Kate, that's my sincere hope!

pastorpilgrim said...

I too like the Anglo Saxon looking cross. She does have a really beautiful face. Awesome date also 11.12.13 and close to her feast day.

Nicola Griffith said...

The date is deliberate. And just in time for holiday gift-giving :)

I owe you email...

Carla said...

I thought of the Trumpington cross too.

I have awarded you a Liebster Blog Award, by the way.

Nicola Griffith said...

Carla, cool! I will post my answers in the next few days. Thank you. (Also, I don't know some of the other blogs you chose so I'm looking forward to new discoveries.)

Sam Hranac said...

Reading it now and can't put it down, which is a bother because I have a plane trip coming up. Well, I don't need that many changes of clothes...