Lolita: The Story of a Cover Girl

Surreal and controversial, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita is a literary classic that most find hard to pigeonhole.

Barbara Wilde
Barbara DeWilde

And book cover designers have traditionally struggled to convey the nuances and themes of the work.

Ben Wiseman
Ben Wiseman

Frustrated by this – and inspired by online archive of published Lolita covers, many of which fail to express the book’s themes – architect and writer John Bertram contacted designers around the world to see if they could do better.

Ellen Lupton
Ellen Lupton

The result is upcoming book Lolita: The Story of a Cover Girl, edited by Bertram and Nabokov Online Journal editor Yuri Leving.

Jamie Keenan
Jamie Keenan

Among the 60 contributors are Pentagram partners Paula Scher and Michael Bierut and Cooper-Hewitt curator Ellen Lupton.

Paula Scher
Paula Scher

As well as the new covers, the book will also feature essays on Nabokov and design, as well as submissions from an international Lolita cover competition Bertram ran in 2009.

Rachel Berger
Rachel Berger

Lolita – The Story of a Cover Girl, will be published in August by Print. For more information and to pre-order a copy visit John Bertram’s website Venus Febriculosa.

John Fulbrook III
John Fulbrook III
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