If you had to pick one book that defines a moment in time, which would it be? What era would it represent?
Indigo, Canada’s beloved lifestyle department store (I’m pretty sure they coined that term), has been in business for 25 years and to celebrate they decided to determine the books that defined the last quarter century for them.
The resulting list is titled The 25-Year Collection and is made up of 28 top-selling titles at any given time, reflecting either an explosion in popularity, collective Canadian memory, a consistent long-term bestseller, or a prospect. important in culture.
For instance, The Handmaid’s Tale which gained popularity when the TV show premiered in 2017 has been an Indigo staple over the years, according to the brand’s press release.
The autobiography of Chris Hadfield Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth also made the list as one of the first books to sell over 120,000 copies in a single quarter.
Each book on the list is reissued with a limited-edition cover designed by a Canadian artist, four of which are from Vancouver (and one from Vancouver Island). The performers are a mix of established and up-and-coming artists and they come from a variety of backgrounds. They were each commissioned to design one or more of the covers.
Vancouver artists, including Aman Aheer, Elizabeth McIntosh, Jean Paul Langlois and Scott Sueme, feature on 11 of 28 sleek, minimalist and contemporary book covers that have a unique color background and keyhole view of an artwork of art.
Illustrated Aman Aheer The Handmaid’s Tale cover. Painter Elizabeth McIntosh designed the covers for shake hands with the devil by Lieutenant-General of the Canadian Forces Roméo Dallaire on the Rwandan genocide, the memoirs of Leonard Cohen book of desireand the third novel by Canadian author Esi Edugyan Washington Black.
Scott Sueme’s graphic and geometric art brings five different book covers to life, including How to pronounce knife, the book of niggersthe memoirs of Bobby Orr, and educated by Tara Westover.
The work of colorful and sometimes playful Métis artist Jean Paul Langlois is on the covers of Thomas King’s An annoying Indian and Khaled Hosseini The kite runner. For the Kite Runner, Langlois chose an arid landscape of prairie rapeseed fields.
“I’m a huge Thomas King fan,” Langlois says. “I had a piece that felt appropriate.” Langlois used to listen to King on the Dead Dog Café Comedy Hour on CBC with his mother and incidentally the cover featured on An annoying Indian is part of a series called Return to Spirit River or “Meeting the Inlaws as tell by my mother”. The specific art Langlois chose comes from a memory his mother has of crossing the Little Smoky River in a canoe to meet the Métis family of Langlois’ father.
Designing the book covers was a highly collaborative process, with the artist and author having a say in the final pairings. Each artist was given a list of titles that might align thematically or emotionally with pieces of their work. The artist suggested existing works that related to the central storyline, message or theme and the writers looked at the associations to give the go-ahead.
There will be 3,500-5,000 copies of each volume available as part of this unique run of the collection and they will be available online and in stores on September 4.