Back in February Ink Spill noted that a cover had been released for Thomas Vinciguerra’s forthcoming Cast of Characters: Wolcott Gibbs, E.B. White, James Thurber, and The Golden Age of The New Yorker. Mr Vinciguerra tells Ink Spill that his book — due in November — now has a new cover, and he explains:
“John Glusman, Norton’s editor-in-chief and vice president, told me some weeks ago that he pitched ‘Cast of Characters’ so enthusiastically to his sales representatives, and made it sound like such a riot, that they said they preferred a cover that would be a little more ‘fun.’ He asked me if I had any bright ideas; I regret to say that I came up with nothing. And so Norton’s art team worked its magic. I have no idea how this wacky cover will look on a Barnes and Noble display table, but it’s certainly distinctive.”
[On the cover, reading clockwise: E.B. White, Wolcott Gibbs, James Thurber, Katharine White, Robert Benchley, and Harold Ross]
Speaking of new covers, the cover of Emily Flake’s upcoming (October 6th) Mama Tried has just been released. And here it is:
Finally, out this week is a book we’ve mentioned here in past months as it made its way to pub date: Matthew Diffee’s Hand Drawn Jokes For Smart Attractive People.
Of the various New Yorker Armed Services Editions in the Ink Spill Library, this one is possibly my favorite (the Armed Services Editions editions were published during WWII; they’re soft covered,and small enough to fit in a pants pocket).
On the cover of this edition (published in 1945) is a photo of the original book, published in 1938, bearing, of all things, E.B. White’s one cover for The New Yorker, dated April 23, 1932. Below is a scan of the cover as it appeared on the magazine. If my memory is correct, Scott Elledge noted in his excellent biography of White, that the cover idea came to E.B. while he was recuperating in a hospital bed.
It being The New Yorker’s 90th anniversary, how fitting that the cover has been revealed for Thomas Vinciguerra’s Cast of Characters: Wolcott Gibbs, E.B. White, James Thurber, and The Golden Age of The New Yorker.
Quite a crew gathered for a book party at the Algonquin Hotel in 1938: seated, left to right, Fritz Foord (who ran Foord’s Sanitarium in Kerhonkson, NY*), Wolcott Gibbs, Frank Case (owner of The Algonquin Hotel) and Dorothy Parker; standing, Alan Campbell (Ms. Parker’s husband), St. Clair McKelway, Russell Maloney and James Thurber.
*according to a Thurber biographer, Harrison Kinney, Thurber heard that “O.Henry had used Foord’s as a drying-out place, and later psychically exhausted colleagues would periodically turn themselves in there, too.”
(W.W. Norton & Co. will publish Mr. Vinciguerra’s book in November of this year).
Note: A Case For Pencils asked me to participate in a survey of tools of the trade. You can see it here.
Eustace Tilley (via Bruce McCall) bids adieu to Times Square on the cover of this week’s New Yorker. The magazine begins work in its new headquarters at 1 World Trade this week.
The New Yorker’s top-hatted mascot bid goodbye once before, back in August of 1937, when Otto Soglow gave us Tilley, not in a Cadillac, but in the back of a Victoria, and embarking from The Plaza Hotel, not Times Square. Back then, Tilley was substituting for E.B. White, who had decided on taking a leave of absence from New York & The New Yorker. The drawing appeared at the bottom of White’s farewell Talk of The Town piece. A tearful Thurber dog follows close by the rear wheel. Eustace tips his hat to two waving women in black, holding muffs: Peter Arno’s Whoops Sisters.
Following in the footsteps of The 40s: The Story of a Decade comes The 50s: The Story of a Decade (Both edited by Henry Finder, both published by Random House). No cover image available. The book will be out in September. If the 50s is anything like the 40s, we can expect classic New Yorker fiction, nonfiction and assessments of the decade by contemporary New Yorker contributors. Can’t wait for the other collections in what now appears to be a series, especially the The 20s and 30s.
Coming in November by way of W.W. Norton & Company, is a must-read from Thomas Vinciguerra: Cast of Characters: Wolcott Gibbs, E.B. White, James Thurber and the Golden Age of The New Yorker (Cover image not available yet). The last we heard from Mr. Vinciguerra he brought us Backward Ran Sentences: The Best of Wolcott Gibbs From The New Yorker.
Ink Spill will update information on these books as it becomes available