Art on the cover of literary productions

Two authors invited by the 18th International Literary Festival of Paraty have works of art on the covers of their books. See these and other literary productions that are linked to the visual arts

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

The virtual edition of the Festa Literária Internacional de Paraty (Flip) will take place next month, from December 3 to 6, 2020. In virtual format, via social media, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The schedule for this, which will be the 18th edition, is made up of tables broadcast live on the Festa's own platform and on social media, in addition to recorded videos, side events and partner programs. There was, however, no author honored in this Flip.

Two of the guest authors, Bernardine Evaristo and Jeferson Tenório, had books published in Brazil this year that feature works of art on the cover. Both were edited by Companhia das Letras, which has the custom of bringing works like this to its graphic project. In the case of Bernardine, the work chosen to appear on the cover of girl, woman, other it was the painting Paris Apartmentby Ojih Odutolah.

With works made mostly on paper, her visual narratives involve themes such as the malleability of identity, the topography of the skin, the displacement of the individual and the individual history of her characters. Beyond the charm of painting Paris Apartment, Ojih Odutolah's proposals are connected with the work of Bernardine Evaristo. “Girl, woman, others” is composed of 4 cores, each with 3 main stories, which are connected in different ways, creating a web of characters that, little by little, is revealed to the reader. With subtlety and humor, in an unconventional way, the work exposes discussions about intersectional identities, sexuality, the African diaspora and modern London.

Tenório, on the other hand, brings the work Trampoline – Bather, which was commissioned from the artist Antonio Oba!


On the cover of the book The reverse of the skinand, the work dialogues with a sensitive and sometimes brutal narrative by Jeferson Tenório, which brings to the surface a country marked by racism and a bankrupt educational system, and a dense account of the relationships between parents and children. What is at stake is the life of a man shaken by the inevitable existential fractures of his condition as a black man in a racist country, a process of pain, of reckoning, but also of redemption, overcoming and freedom. With an unusual ability to conceive and structure characters and to deal with the complexities and small tragedies of family relationships, Jeferson Tenório consolidates himself as one of the most powerful and stylistically courageous voices in contemporary Brazilian literature.

Other books released this year also bring works of art on the cover, or in internal illustrations, to the fore, such as a brand new edition of The Alienist, by Machado de Assis, which has works by Rivane Neuenschwander illustrating all of it.

The Cobogó edition covers the eponymous work by Rivane, which had an exhibition also titled this way last year, at the Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel gallery. The artist was inspired by the work of Assis to create about twenty dolls made with fabric, papier-mâché, glass bottles and other materials. In Assis's book, a doctor founds the Casa Verde hospice, where he compulsorily admits all the city's inhabitants and concludes that he himself must be hospitalized, finally questioning the limits between madness and sanity.

Other books with literary works on the cover for you to check out:

The Two-State Solution, by Michel Laub, with details of the work ID card (auto right thumb, 1965), by Rubens Gerchman.

O white room, by Gabriela Aguerre, with detail of work by Regina Parra on the cover, titled But Truly I do Fear it.

The living and the others, by José Eduardo Agualusa, with work by Alex Cerveny on the cover! The author had other works with the artist's cover released by the Tusquets/Editora Planeta label in recent years.

And in June, due to Writer's Day, we made a list on Instagram with several book covers made by artists. It has Adriana Varejão, Guga Szabzon, Ana Prata, Nino Cais, Ana Elisa Egreja, Dalton Paula, Eduardo Berliner and others. click here to check!

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