“A ‘Fuck You’ to Women Everywhere”

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I can imagine complaining along these lines in an editorial meeting at a British publishing house, and being sighed at: “Yes, of course the 1960s cover is beautiful – I love it – but Waterstones and Tesco won’t stock it.”

At the London Review of Books‘ blog, Fatema Ahmed takes a critical look at the cover of a new edition of The Bell Jar, which depicts a woman applying makeup.

Helpful hint for future cover designers: The book’s protagonist Esther was not suicidally depressed because she couldn’t find the right shade of lip gloss. 


Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →