Thursday, July 9, 2009

Obscuring women’s faces

Here is a series of covers in which the cover model’s face is obscured either by a “tear” in the cover or by a photograph or frame in front of her face.

Whacked by Jules AsnerLooking for JJ by Anne Cassidy
Leftovers by Heather WaldorfThe Impostor's Daughter by Laurie Sandell
Lying on the Couch by Irvin D. YalomDressing Up for the Carnival by Carol Shields

The books pictured are: Whacked by Jules Asner and Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy (with thanks to Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here for pointing this pair out); Leftovers by Heather Waldorf and The Impostor’s Daughter by Laurie Sandell (these two are uncannily similar despite the fact that one’s a photo and the other is a drawing); and Lying on the Couch by Irvin D. Yalom and Dressing Up for the Carnival by Carol Shields.

I’m not the only one to have noticed this phenomenon: check out the “See No Evil” post at Jacket Whys.


  1. Okay, I just find that kind of creepy.

  2. I like the looked of Whacked. Hadn't noticed the trend up until this post. I shall definitely keep a look out now. I have noticed the rise in black and red covers since Twilight came out though.

  3. Can I just tell you how much I enjoy these 'similar cover' posts? I can only imagine how much time it must take you, but thanks so much for doing it! I love seeing the connections you draw between covers!

  4. Carol, my favourites are the two middle ones: they seem to fit the books (or at least I imagine the Leftovers one fits the book; I haven't read it). But otherwise, I agree, the other covers (especially the last two) are kinda creepy!

    Scrap Girl, although the first four books are new titles, the last two aren't. I must admit my "similar covers" posts don't necessarily feature recent books. But judging from the fact that Jacket Whys found a bunch more (and hers are all recent as far as I know), I guess this is a trend!

    Thank you, Brittany! I'm glad to hear you enjoy these posts. It's fun to put them together!

  5. Then there are the covers where the woman's head is chopped off completely. Odd, but interesting.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  6. Fun post, Avis. Not sure what this trend signifies though.

  7. That's odd - I wonder why they don't do that to men's faces.

  8. I'm with carolsnotebook--I find these a little creepy when they're all together. I never noticed how many like this there are.

  9. I like the cover of Leftovers, though I've never heard of the book. It is creepy to see the covers all together like that.

  10. Since I've been reading your blog I've noticed some of these covers!!! What is up with these trends? To me the books all become a blur and I can't remember which one I want to read!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Weird. I'm a little bit creeped out by this.

    I really liked this post though!

  12. Oh, I love those! Great finds! I think "Whacked" is my favorite. And I wouldn't be surprised if "The impostor's daughter" image was inspired by the stock photo used on "Leftovers"! :)

  13. Weird!

    I think it must be an identity statement. The middle two are substituting something else (and they are doing it themselves). The first two are being stripped (pun not intended) of their identity. The last two are even more intriguing, and I can't even guess what is intended.

    Thanks for sharing these.

  14. Oooooh...I'm so excited you used it..and found more along these lines. I love it! Though when you see them altogether, it is a bit disconcerting!

    Love these posts!

  15. Anna, that's a whole other post!

    Me neither, Donna!

    Kathy, I've come across one book with a man's face that was obscured, but it didn't really fit in this montage (and now I can't remember what the book was called). But in general, I think women appear on book covers more often than men (or maybe it's just the books I tend to pay attention to?).

    Lit and Life, I find the cropping of women's bodies on book covers are often a bit creepy! (I will post about this again.)

    Vanessa, I think that one's my favourite too!

    Staci, that's exactly why I became fascinated by this phenomenon, because I find it does mean I get books confused!

    Thanks, J. T.!

    Kay, I wouldn't be surprised either. It certainly looks like it.

    Laura, I like your analysis!

    Thanks again for pointing these outJenners. I thought it was pretty interesting that L. at Jacket Whys blogged about this too! (I'd already prepared my post by the time I saw hers.)