Designing Stories and Designing Books

Emily M. Keeler is a writer and the editor of...

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You might remember a while back when Pixar released their pat formula for story telling? Richard Brody has some notes on their notes—it’s a great piece of thinking, with a good takeaway: “The story is the equivalent of a musical melody or an architectural framework: a basis, not a goal; an element that may either be charmingly memorable or ingeniously conceived, but that is merely a starting point for a significant work, not a result.”

(Sometimes stories have other origins.)

Jonathan Lethem’s got a new book out this year, Dissident Gardens, and the cover is just beautiful. And if you’re (like me) a little wary of some of Lethem’s fiction, you might be happy to hear (as I most certainly am) that Lethem himself describes the latest as not unlike The Fortress of Solitude. I mean, I already told you that Chronic City is my favourite, but TFOS is right up there. In short: The book sounds good, and it’s beautiful. We’re all winners here.

Speaking of book cover design, Peter Mendelsund’s hired a few new designers. He’s profiling their young talents on his blog, beginning with Pablo Delcan, who is already hitting it out of the park. Scroll down and stare for a while at that Arne Dahl novel. Live with it for a minute, and see how you feel.