Catherynne M. Valente’s collection The Bread We Eat in Dreams is published! Beautiful, velvety, three-dimensional and smelling of ink. I really like the finish Subterranean Press uses for their dust jackets.
I’ve loved Valente’s work for years and it was a delight to be asked by Subterranean to illustrate this collection. There is an immense variety here – poems, stories, lists, far-futures, travelling rooms, unexpected facts, fallout and fairytales, blood and bone and apples (the author’s comments on the stories are here on Subterranean’s website). If I had to pick one favourite, it would be “The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland, for a little while” a prequel to (utterly enchanting) The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. I read this when I was only two chapters into the novel, however, which created a perfect tension of suspense/devastation on finishing both. But images from so many of the stories linger with me.
The jacket is another full wrap-around design, with references in it to all the stories and poems, which is a game I like to play when I have the chance to read a whole collection before illustrating (and the art director lets me!).
If you click on the image, you should be able to see a much larger version, however here are a couple of my favourite details:
I will follow up with another post on the process, and the internal illustrations. Watch this space…