Thursday, April 23, 2020
From Richard Wright to Octavia Butler
For years, I collected editions and reprints of Richard Wright's Black Boy. I eventually decided to branch out and develop other collections of a single book or author. That's how I ended up with several books by Octavia Butler. She was a science fiction writer, so designers for her covers stretched out in all kinds of creative ways.
Butler's publishers also offered interrelated designs of the various books. So the novels look like a cohesive collection on the shelf.
The Patternist series, which is how I first got into Butler's works, have some really interesting covers. I've blogged on them a bit over the years. I also organized osme public displays focusing on the covers.
You have to do a deep dive to get all the Patternist books though. Butler declined to have her novel Survivor reprinted, because she decided she did not like it.
Then, there's Kindred, perhaps Butler's most well-known novel. There have been a few different covers of that work. And recently, there was even a graphic novel adaptation.
Funny how Wright got me to Butler covers, and also to Frederick Douglass and Black Panther #1.
• A Notebook on Richard Wright & Book History