One of the first thing that draws me as a reader to a book is the cover. As an author, I’m always curious about the design involved in a cover: the colors, the fonts, the imagery, etc. The covers I share here are not a promotion for the book itself, simply an admiration of the cover or aspects of it.
GONE: A GIRL, A VIOLIN, A LIFE UNSTRUNG, by Min Kym
Her first violin was tiny, harsh, factory-made; her first piece was “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star.” But from the very beginning, Min Kym knew that music was the element in which she could swim and dive and soar. At seven years old, she was a prodigy, the youngest ever student at the famed Purcell School. At eleven, she won her first international prize; at eighteen, violinist great Ruggiero Ricci called her “the most talented violinist I’ve ever taught.” And at twenty-one, she found “the one,” the violin she would play as a soloist: a rare 1696 Stradivarius. Her career took off. She recorded the Brahms concerto and a world tour was planned.
Then, in a London café, her violin was stolen. She felt as though she had lost her soulmate, and with it her sense of who she was. Overnight she became unable to play or function, stunned into silence.
In this lucid and transfixing memoir, Kym reckons with the space left by her violin’s absence. She sees with new eyes her past as a child prodigy, with its isolation and crushing expectations; her combustible relationships with teachers and with a domineering boyfriend; and her navigation of two very different worlds, her traditional Korean family and her music. And in the stark yet clarifying light of her loss, she rediscovers her voice and herself.
My impression: As an adult who is learning how to play the cello, I am intrigued by virtuosity and now by stringed instruments as well. This cover immediately caught my eye because of the rough extraction of the shape of the violin. That is so well done with the shadowing and design that it appears that the cover has texture, as if I could feel the shorn edges around the violin. I also love the monochromatic grayscale background with only half of the author/musician’s portrait visible. I haven’t read this book yet (I have added it to my wishlist!), but the cover evokes a feeling of obsession, isolation, division, and jarring, wrenching loss: based on the synopsis, exactly the emotions around which the memoir revolves.
Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated at Flashlight Commentary. These lovely book bloggers also feature eye-catching covers: