Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly Orange Prize) Longlist Announced

Great Reading for You… and Yummy Cover Designs!

A friend just posted an email on our community’s newsletter asking for reading recommendations, and look what the universe delivered!

I’ve been doing a lot of research on design as I work on the cover for my upcoming book, and so I’m particularly attuned to the visual aspects of books right now. As it turns out, we do judge a book by its cover…and these make me hungry to read…just delicious… and they make me proud to be a woman writer.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Cover of the novel Life after Life, by Kate Atkinson

Well, obviously I like this one, since it looks like one of my photo collages. Aside from that, the archway draws me in, reinforced by the lines around it pointing to the center.

The monochromatic tones, which in general I think are more difficult to make work for book cover (because bright colors grab attention) here work splendidly, giving a moody feel. The retro girl and the title give me the idea this is a story about reincarnation, which it is.

Must read!





This cover utilizes color and strong, graphic shapes to draw attention. I love the aqua, yellow and brown… and the huge sunglasses, hiding her eyes…

The title, a provocative question, piques my curiosity. Yeah, where did she go? This cover (reinforced by the quote) makes me think this is going to be a sassy, entertaining book.








The cover of Lamb, the novel by Bonnie NadzamThis cover makes me think it’s about the adventures of an adolescent girl, which it is. I love the red high tops against the gray and white car, and the awkward, yet sassy posture of the girl’s legs. The red shoes remind me of red riding hood, and also the posters for Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita.

Then there’s the quote “Tommie is eleven. David Lamb is fifty-four. There’s nothing wrong with that, is there?” The title, which ostensibly refers to the male character, also alludes to the animal, with connotations of innocence and vulnerability. Is the girl the lamb? Is the man a wolf in sheep’s clothes, or does he possess a redeeming innocence?

I don’t know, because I haven’t read it yet, but the cover alone has raised these ideas and associations. Very evocative and provocative design.





The Forrests, by Emily Perkins, novel Cover Image





Another good use of monochromatic color scheme. I love the blurred figures of the children, dwarfed by the looming trees and grass in the foreground. Moody and mysterious.

The title has a double meaning, evoking actual forests, and what I presume is a person or family named Forrest.

This cover makes me think this will be a dreamy, sensuous novel, and from the description I read, it seems that is the case.


A Trick I Learned From Dead Men Cover of novel by Kitty Aldridge




This cover is spectacular. The colors, the font, the title, the graphic cutouts of men walking, dead men below the trees like roots, dead men floating above like clouds. Love, love, love.


Here is the link for you to see the rest of the books nominated for this award, and read descriptions of them: http://www.womensprizeforfiction.co.uk/2013-prize/longlist




2 Responses to “Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly Orange Prize) Longlist Announced”

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  1. Thora says:

    Makes me want to make more time to read….to clear everything else off my plate and dig into one of these. Especially “Tricks.” Maybe I could learn to play dead to avoid all the adult responsibilities that plague my life these days. Thanks Melanie!

  2. Anne McAneny says:

    Great observations, Melanie! I wish I had more of a visual brain. My favorite is Life After Life, but they’re all really eye-catching.