Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1996


This was one of those opportunities that rarely come along—a book with a one-word title and a one-word author name that was also a great read—so I couldn’t blow it. Rather than depicting the novel literally, which could have been somewhat off-putting, I chose a more simple and direct approach that was in keeping with the style of the book: typographic. There is a powerful moment (one of many in the book) in which the sixteen-year-old main character is assisted by an EMS worker while giving birth to her father’s child on the kitchen floor after being hit in the head with a frying pan by her mother, which is where the title comes from. My job was to combine opportunity with impact. The result—a design that can be read from across the street even with the title sideways (a big Knopf no-no)—was also a big hit with the marketing department.

Collections: 50 Books | 50 Covers of 1996
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book cover


Design firm
Alfred A. Knopf
Art director
Carol Devine Carson
Jacket designers
Carol Devine Carson, Archie Ferguson
Agency Gothic, Trade Gothic Bold Extended
Alfred A. Knopf