It’s a bird it’s a plane

Posted by @ 7:32 pm on June 2nd, 2010

I wonder if Scribner, publishers of Don Delillo’s Underworld (1997), thought much about their cover after September 11, 2001. Delillo’s novels work high off prophetic allusions, almost desperate for dystopia, so the cover detail above showing a bird approaching the side of one of the World Trade Center towers seems like sad good luck (not to mention the twin towers in his last name). No social commentary is complete without a passive-aggressively placed Cross, a solemn mark increasing the +3000 headcount by 1. It’s all math they say, the number of copies sold, which is why massive books are not sold by the pound. To be nominated for a National Book Award is to lose, no matter how shiny the embossed sticker is. If Don tells you that at a party, you’ll know he got that from me.