Design story: Helen Crawford-White

22 Sep 2016

The Beginning Woods, the magical and beguiling debut from Malcolm McNeill, is now on shelves. At Pushkin HQ, we’ve been utterly enchanted by this fantastically multi-layered tale of vanishing people, bookshops, ghosts, dragons and much more, and so we jumped at the chance to talk to Helen Crawford-White, designer of the book’s gorgeous jacket, about the process behind the cover.

What was your initial inspiration for the cover of The Beginning Woods?

The book itself! I don’t often get time to read the entire manuscript before starting on a cover, but in the case of The Beginning Woods I got completely hooked. And I think because the story felt so original and unexpected, I had to keep reading not only to find out what happened but to help formulate the imagery in my mind.

The book is full of great visual references like the boy, the balloon, the books, the dragons, the woods, the wolf. It was almost a case of there were so many things you could do for the cover, it was hard to narrow down!

After fully submerging myself in the book, I looked at a lot of Folk Art, old european fairy tales illustration, and lots of weird and wonderful paper cuts, etchings and engravings.
I wanted the cover to somehow convey the fantastical environment of the book and have the slightly primitive, unnerving quality that you get with early folk and fairy stories.


Cover reveal: Sympathy

21 Sep 2016

We’re delighted to be able to unveil the beautiful Jonathan Gray-designed cover for Sympathy, the debut novel from Olivia Sudjic out with ONE in May 2017.

Sympathy is set in the age of algorithm, when a chance encounter is anything but. This is an electrifying debut novel of obsessive love, family secrets, and the dangers of living our lives online

At 23, Alice Hare leaves England for New York – the city of her birth, before she was adopted by a British mother and an American father. As she falls in love with the big city, she also becomes fixated on Mizuko Himura, an intriguing Japanese writer living in New York whose life has strange parallels with her own. Their ‘chance’ encounter and subsequent relationship expose a dark tangle of lies and sexual encounters as three families across the globe collide, and the most ancient of questions – where do we come from? – can be answered just by searching online.

Now the only challenge is sitting tight until May to read it…


Read it now: Sorrow of the Earth

15 Sep 2016

Why not while away a few minutes in the company of Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull? The magnificent Sorrow of the Earth is out now, an astonishing work of historical re-imagining which tells the little-known story of Sitting Bull and his fellow Native Americans swallowed up by Buffalo Bill’s great entertainment machine.

Buffalo Bill was the prince of show business. His spectacular Wild West shows were performed to packed houses across the world, holding audiences spellbound with their grand re-enactments of tales from the American frontier. For Bill gave the crowds something they’d never seen before: real-life Indians.

Told with beauty, compassion and anger, Sorrow of the Earth shows us tragedy turned into a circus act, history into sham, truth into a spectacle more powerful than reality itself. Could any of us turn away?

Read the first chapter now >


Where I Write: Ayelet Gundar-Goshen

13 Sep 2016

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen,acclaimed author of One Night, Markovitch, is now back with Waking Lions, an incredibly suspenseful tale of a hit-and-run and the impact it has on three people’s lives. With Waking Lions now out in paperback, we caught up with Ayelet to find out where she pens her wonderful novels and how her workspace is a source of inspiration for her.

Where do you write? 
In a studio I got from the Tel Aviv municipality – it’s an old cramped building near Rabin square, which is to be destroyed and re-built as a luxury-complex. Until then, the municipality gives it to artists a space to work. We can get an evacuation notice any day, so nobody bothers to clean or get too attached – perfect for writing.

What do you have on your desk?
My notebook, and about a dozen not-so-working pens.

Which is the most inspiring object in your workspace?
A piece of white paper. Its emptiness is a source of inspiration, as well as frustration: it can be everything, or nothing, and when I sit down to write in the morning, I have no idea which it will be by the end of the day.

What can you see from your window?
Ibn Gabirol Street. I find it ironic that the most polluted, heavy-traffic street in Tel Aviv is named after an 11th-century Andalusian poet.

Waking Lions is out in paperback now. Get your copy here.

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