The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Cynan Jones Covers by Jenny Grigg



I’m a little late to work of Welsh novelist Cynan Jones, but I recently finished reading his award-winning 2014 novel The Dig, and it’s not hard to see what all the fuss is about. The writing is beautifully spare and intimate, and the story is devastating.1

The stark, illustrated cover of The Dig and Jones’s earlier books, recently republished by Granta, also caught my eye. The striking designs are, it turns out, by the brilliant Australian designer Jenny Grigg, which seems obvious once you know. Her previous covers for Peter Carey and Ernest Hemingway have similarly bold simplicity and tone.

Grigg has also designed the cover of Jones’s new novel, The Cove, which will be published by Granta in November.





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1. If you are going to read one novel about grief, isolation, sheep farming and the horrific cruelty of badger baiting this year, make it The Dig.

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