Excelsior! Just one month to go before the release of CCLaP's first original book of the year! And we just recently made a final decision on an official cover, so here's your very first look at it above. It's for a Peace Corps memoir and collection of personal essays called Historia, Historia by a writer named Eleanor Stanford out of Philadelphia, a book that defies all usual expectations: partly a traditional travelogue (about the Cape Verde Islands, just off the coast of western Africa), partly these very smart academic essays about the history of the islands' creole language, and partly a gripping personal look at the eating disorder Stanford developed while there, it's the kind of messily uncategorizable nonfiction book that we love putting out, and personally speaking one of the best Peace Corps memoirs I've read in my entire life. We'll have a pre-order page up for it in about two weeks, so I'll of course let all of you know about that as well.
So why I am writing about it today? Because it turns out we need your help! As regulars know, I like to come up with a new over-arching design scheme for our books here every year, so that every book that particular year all get made using that one design, switching only colors and illustrations between titles; and this year I thought it'd be really cool to commission a series of antique letterpress artists to design and print off the covers of our paper books, and to give these artists free reign to do whatever kind of design they want, much like we did with a series of traditional illustrators for our 2012 books. But I'm having a lot more trouble finding letterpress artists who would be interested in participating than I thought I would -- I've written to four of them now in the last month, and none of them have even bothered writing me back, much less to say yes or no -- which is why I thought I'd get a mention posted here to the blog, and to urge you if you're a letterpress artist yourself, or have a friend who's one, to drop me a line at cclapcenter [at] gmail.com, so we can talk more about costs, parameters and deadlines. We keep having to delay the release of this book, for no other reason than that we still don't have a cover for the paper version, so I strongly encourage you to drop a line if you have an interest in taking on this commission yourself!
*Oh yeah, and note that great blurb we got pre-publication from Pulitzer nominee Marya Hornbacher, author of the huge bestseller Wasted -- for those who can't read it in the above image, here's what it says...
Eleanor Stanford captures experience with the precision of a poet and the broad vision of a novelist, translating the unwritten language of the inner world into a handful of words as shimmering and polished as sea-glass. In this book, Stanford goes far beyond a description of an eating disorder -- this book explores the meaning of body, of place, of home, of language itself. An essential read.