40 of the Creepiest Book Covers of All Time: Critical Linking, October 9

Sponsored by All The Wind In The World By Samantha Mabry

It’s October, which means everything is now officially just a little bit spookier—and I’m not only talking about your Twitter handles. To celebrate the season, please enjoy this collection of a few of my favorite creepy book covers, from the campy to the gross to the truly unsettling. There are so many creepy covers out there, particularly in the horror and mystery genres, so I make no claims about this being any kind of comprehensive list; rather it’s a selection of book covers from various genres—literary, horror, kids’ classics, etc.—that happen to creep me out.

Man, some of these are just gross.

Given its pedigree, the Nobel Prize doesn’t have to keep sponsors happy, which means it doesn’t necessarily face this kind of pressure. And yet it’s also shifted its identify over the last three years, embracing a kind of populism. Obscurity is no longer a virtue, and all literary forms are welcome. But that change has also come at a cost. Despite being dismayingly Eurocentric—a black African writer has not won since 1986, for instance—the Nobel was the premier way for difficult and strange writing of high quality to get a wider audience. With the Nobel edging toward the likes of Dylan and Ishiguro, this is a loss for global literature.

Where is the Nobel Prize heading?

This dynamic has cropped up recently with the writers Lang Leav (with whom Ms. Kaur shares a publisher) and Tao Lin. Like a Kathy Acker or even a Patti Smith before them, these writers also weren’t seen as important, largely because of their too-youthful or too-female readership.

“Critics might think that Kaur’s readership is young and female, so her work can’t be serious, which is obviously wrong,” said Matthew Hart, a professor of English and comparative literature Columbia University. “Her style doesn’t seem naïve.”

The inevitable backlash against poet Rupi Kaur has begun.

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