June 30, 2011 by Reader's Connection
This isn’t really the cover art for the book under discussion. I didn´t want to shock anyone, so for my homepage thumbnail I used this block of nothing, which is currently pretending to be the cover art for Juniper Fuse: Upper Paleolithic Imagination & the Construction of the Underworld, in which poet Clayton Eshleman imagines his own version of what was going on with those cave painters in France.
This is the real art for Juniper Fuse, at least the copy that I’ve just begun reading. I´ll do something about the art in the catalog, but for the moment I needed something bland, so that casual visitors to our homepage wouldn’t be scarred.
The book under discussion today is Keith Donohue´s new novel Centuries of June, and this is the bona fide cover art. I’ve been thinking that it’s a dopey cover, but it’s appropriate in that there are a lot of women in the novel.
One by one, these women gather in the same bathroom. They aren’t waiting to use the toilet or powder their noses. Each of them has come to murder our narrator, who for better or worse is already dead, or in any case has a hole in his head. Each of the women tells her story, and these stories are zingers. There’s a sea story, a crime story, a baseball story, a tale involving slavery and another involving witch trials. As the title indicates, we move through the centuries with these wronged (and rather attractive) women.
What’s going on here? is the reader’s perpetual inner question, and there’s no way I’m going to try to answer it. Just come on into the bathroom–watch your back, now–and enjoy these archetypal tales.
I guess the cover is presented as its own sort of archetype, a modern-day cave painting. If it offends you, author Donohue has graciously provided directions for making your own cover; but please don’t fasten these homemade jobbers to our library books.