Thursday, February 24, 2011

“Fiction is the Truth Inside the Lie.”

Here at the library, we run across many photos of authors. They are in the New York Times Book Review and in the Book Page publication that we get every month at the 3rd floor Readers Services desk (they're free - come and have one). However, the most probable location of an author picture is at the back of the book you are reading.

Why am I discussing pictures of authors? No reason, really. I just enjoy immersing myself in the storytelling aspect of novels, and having an actual picture of an author in my head could help me engage in the book further. Its almost like I could picture the author actually creating the words right there in front of me, or possibly even reading them aloud.

When I was 13, I read my first horror novel: Pet Semetary. I don't know what frightened me more, the harrowing story of resurrection-gone-wrong or the picture of Stephen King (pictured above) on the back of the book. To be fair, I feel that Mr. King can spin a mean story, when he gets around to it. He is also responsible for the quote entitling this post.

Photos of authors also make impressions on me even if I haven't ever read anything by them. For instance, Terry Goodkind (pictured right) seems to take himself pretty seriously. Is he really that confident in his writing or is it merely a juxtaposition to the sly wit he could inject into his writing style? Either way, I'm intrigued.

How about you? Are there any authors whose pictures have proved irresistible or repellent to your reading tastes?


Roberta said...

I've remarked to lots of people the transformation of Dean Koontz from a balding J. Gordon Liddy look-alike to clean-shaven, handsome and hair like Blago.

And of course, although I don't read much Danielle Steel anymore, I always look forward to her fabulous jacket pictures, tuned to the content of the story. My favorite was Message from Nam, where she posed in camouflage and a typewriter, like a world-weary expat journalist.

Anonymous said...

Steven King's photo proves that access to MILLIONS of dollars (and Annie Leibovitz) can dramatically improve anyone's looks!

Linda K. said...

Stephen King is truly scary. One of my favorites - non-scary - is the author Joan Hess. Her picture on the back of the Maggody, Arkansas series in a police car is fun.

Anonymous said...

Clive Cussler and his antique cars are always fun. Line them up on a display cube and watch Clive age as gracefully as Danielle Steel.

Dan Lister said...

Myself, I love the recent transformation of Jim Butcher from long-haired hippie-type to shaven-headed author.

Laura D. said...

In the title quote, King is riffing on twentieth-century artists' experience of art: Pablo Picasso said, at least as far back as 1923, "Art is the lie that tells the truth."

Linda K. said...

Roberta - I'm surprised you didn't mention Neil Gaiman. I just picked up "Neverwhere" and discovered Neil's brooding face on the back. Lots of hair and dark eyes.

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