Friday, August 14, 2015

Head over heels for The Atlantic

I've been looking forward to posting about this for a while now, but have been pretty busy. I have a piece in the current issue of The Atlantic (the September issue), for Caleb Crain's book review of Jonathan Franzen's new novel, Purity. I always love doing book review illustrations, and the fact that it was for the work of such a talented writer was the cherry on top.

 I'm not going to go into a long description of the plot- you can pick up a copy and read the review, or better yet, the actual book- but suffice to say it revolves around a 23 year-old woman named Purity, or Pip for short. Pip doesn't know much about where she comes from: who her father is, or even her mother's real name. In order to find out who she is, she gets involved with a clearinghouse for internet leaks, thinking that the web must surely have some answers. It's on this journey of self-discovery that she apparently runs into trouble. As Crain explains, "Franzen has always been fond of putting his characters into a psychic distress so disorienting that they make decisions that topple them into even greater psychic distress." There are multiple mentions in the review of characters seeming to "fall" or "topple" into these situations, and continuing to plunge, "like Wile E. Coyote ricocheting down the sides of a canyon..." I felt that showing the character in some phase of tumbling was the way to go, and the AD agreed.

I also made a wider version for the website, which is also how it's displayed on my site:

This was a lot of fun to work on. Thanks so much to Lauren!

No comments:

Post a Comment