Synopses & Reviews
From A to Z, the Penguin Drop Caps series collects 26 unique hardcovers featuring cover art by Jessica Hische.
It all begins with a letter. Fall in love with Penguin Drop Caps, a new series of twenty-six collectible and hardcover editions, each with a type cover showcasing a gorgeously illustrated letter of the alphabet. In a design collaboration between Jessica Hische and Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley, the series features unique cover art by Hische, a superstar in the world of type design and illustration, whose work has appeared everywhere from Tiffany and Co. to Wes Anderson's recent film Moonrise Kingdom to Penguin's own bestsellers Committed and Rules of Civility. With exclusive designs that have never before appeared on Hische's hugely popular Daily Drop Cap blog, the Penguin Drop Caps series debuted with an 'A' for Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, a 'B' for Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, and a 'C' for Willa Cather's My Antonia. It continues with more perennial classics, perfect to give as elegant gifts or to showcase on your own shelves.
J is for Joyce. From its chronicling of youthful days at Clongowes Wood school to the radical questioning of all convention and the desire to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race,” James Joyce's highly autobiographical A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man portrays Stephen Dedalus in his Dublin upbringing. In doing so, it provides an oblique self-portrait of young Joyce himself. At its center lie questions of origin and source, authority and authorship, and the relationship of an artist to his family, culture, and race. Exuberantly inventive in style, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man subtly and beautifully orchestrates the patterns of quotation and repetition instrumental in its hero's quest to create his own character, his own language, life and art: to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use silence, exile, and cunning.”
Winner of the 2012 Fifty Books/Fifty Covers show, organized by Design Observer in association with AIGA and Designers and Books
Praise for Penguin Drop Caps:
“Vibrant, minimalist new typographic covers…. Bonus points for the heartening gender balance of the initial selections.”
—Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
"The Penguin Drop Caps series is a great example of the power of design. Why buy these particular classics when there are less expensive, even free editions of Great Expectations? Because theyre beautiful objects. Paul Buckley and Jessica Hisches fresh approach to the literary classics reduces the design down to typography and color. Each cover is foil-stamped with a cleverly illustrated letterform that reveals an element of the story. Jane Austens A (Pride and Prejudice) is formed by opulent peacock feathers and Charlotte Brontes B (Jane Eyre) is surrounded by flames. The complete set forms a rainbow spectrum prettier than anything else on your bookshelf."
—Rex Bonomelli, The New York Times
"Classic reads in stunning covers—your book club will be dying."
James Joyce's first and most widely read novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is the story of Stephen Dedalus, a young man struggling to decide between a religious vocation and an artistic one. The aftermath of the struggle that is so poignantly and unflinchingly recorded forms a large part of the story of Joyce's masterwork, Ulysses, in which Stephen reappears as a main character.
About the Author
James Joyce was born in Dublin on February 2, 1882, the oldest of ten children. Though the family was poor, he was educated at the best Jesuit schools and then at University College, Dublin. Following his graduation in 1902, Joyce went to Paris, where he devoted himself to writing poems and prose sketches until he was recalled to Dublin in April 1903 due to the fatal illness of his mother. There he met a young woman from Galway, Nora Barnacle, and persuaded her to go with him to the Continent, where he planned to teach English, and in 1905 they moved to Trieste. They had two children, a son and a daughter. His first book, the poems of Chamber Music
, was published in London in 1907. When Italy entered the First World War, Joyce moved to Zurich, where he remained until 1919. During this period he published A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
(1916) and Exiles
, a play (1918). Soon after the armistice, Joyce moved to Paris to arrange for the publication of Ulysses
, a book which he had been working on since 1914. It was published on his birthday, in 1922, and brought him international fame. The same year he began work on Finnegans Wake
, and though much harassed by eye troubles, and deeply affected by his daughters mental illness, he completed and published that book in 1939. After the outbreak of the Second World War, he went to live in Unoccupied France, then managed to secure permission in December 1940 to return to Zurich. Joyce died there six weeks later, on January 13, 1941, and was buried in the Fluntern Cemetery.
Jessica Hische is a letterer, illustrator, typographer, and web designer. She currently serves on the Type Directors Club board of directors, has been named a Forbes Magazine "30 under 30" in art and design as well as an ADC Young Gun and one of Print Magazine's "New Visual Artists". She has designed for Wes Anderson, McSweeney's, Tiffany and Co, Penguin Books and many others. She resides primarily in San Francisco, occasionally in Brooklyn.