Peter Mendelsund: Portrait of a Cover Artist
You may not know his name, but chances are you already own some of Peter Mendelsund's work. The 46-year-old designer of iconic book jackets for top-shelf authors both living (Martin Amis) and dead (James Joyce) is celebrated in this month's Cover (powerHouse, $60; out August 5), a retrospective of his greatest hits. He's also publishing his first book, What We See When We Read (Vintage, $17; out August 5), a philosophical exploration of the literary imagination. Here, he shares the stories behind some of his standouts.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson
"We knew this was going to be a big book. There was a huge number of alternate versions. Even in the end, people said things like, 'You should go back and put in a pretty girl and some blood.'"