Cover Reveal: A Wild Swan and Other Tales by Michael Cunningham

CoverThis month we’re celebrating our illustrated books, with our ‘Picture Perfect‘ theme. So the timing of this cover reveal couldn’t be better – feast your eyes on the beautiful pages of Michael Cunningham’s dark and perverse collection of fairytales A Wild Swan and Other Tales, illustrated by Yuko Shimizu.

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Both the cover and inside cover of the book hint at the dark, dreamy tales within, Shimizu’s feathery black-and-white etchings atmospherically setting the tone.

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The title pages, too, whirl with wings and feathers, the artwork reminiscent of Aubrey Beardsley’s fantastical illustrations for Oscar Wilde.

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Shimizu’s illustrations are given due prominence in the text, as much a part of the stories as Cunningham’s words. In A Wild Swan and Other Tales, the people and the talismans of lands far, far away – the mythic figures of our childhoods and the source of so much of our wonder – are transformed by Cunningham and Shimizu into stories of sublime revelation.

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Sometimes Cunningham’s words disappear from the page entirely, Shimizu’s illustrations insisting upon the full panoramic grandeur of a double-page spread, as with the castle vista below.

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With all the dazzling sumptuousness of the illustrations inside the book, it’s easy to miss the subtler details of the design, like the embossed outline of a swan spreading its wings across the front and back covers.

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A Wild Swan and Other Tales is published by 4th Estate on 19th November 2015.

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