The Border of Truth

The Border of Truth

Basic Books, New York, New York, 2006


The Border of Truth is an exploration of the experience of first-generation children of refugees and the secrets that define their parents’ lives. The book functions in two parts. In the first, a woman in contemporary Manhattan is uncovering the secrets of her parents, in which, through fear, she’s been complicit. These secrets have perhaps kept her from stepping fully into meaningful adult relationships, and through a series of discoveries, their story is revealed. The second part of the novel is epistolary, set in 1940, and written by a 17-year-old European Jewish refugee aboard a ship returning to Nazi-occupied Brussels, after having been denied American port. He writes a series of letters to Eleanor Roosevelt in which he beseeches her intervention and also tells his own story.

The task was to create a warm jacket that would evoke the history and the journeys of the characters. The father of the narrator worked in a tailoring shop so this image, provided to the designer, worked literally, but delivered metaphorically as well.

Juror Notes

“Rodrigo Corral is doing some of the better cover design of this young century. This is no exception: an intriguing and potentially upsetting visual to a poignant tale.”

Collections: 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2006
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book cover


Design firm
Basic Books
Art director
Nicole Caputo
Jacket designer
Rodrigo Corral
Getty Images
Victoria Redel
Amy Scheibe
Trim size
5.5 x 8.25 inches
MercuryText Roman and Italic
Jacket printer
Phoenix Color Corp.
Super White 100 lb.
Basic Books