Time’s literary coverboys and -girls

[The Millions]

Over at The Millions — and in honor of Time’s Jonathan Franzen cover — I’ve compiled a full list of the magazine’s previous literary covers. You’ll find links to each cover and cover story (83, by my count), along with a short essay on the subject. The take-home point:

Just about every interaction between Time and a literary type has been characterized by a waffling between reaching out and selling out that, today, we’d describe as Franzean.

If you’re interested in more on this, I’d recommend Joe Moran’s fascinating (if also a little predictable) “The Author as a Brand Name: American Literary Figures and the Time Cover Story” and the third chapter of Evan Brier’s A Novel Marketplace: Mass Culture, the Book Trade, and Postwar American Fiction. (Brier’s whole book is pretty good.)

I managed to read most of the cover stories linked to in the article. My favorite is the one on Carl Sandburg and his massive Lincoln biography.


About Craig Fehrman

Craig Fehrman is a Ph.D. student in Yale’s English department and a freelance writer. He's working on a book about presidents and their books [more] . . .
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2 Responses to Time’s literary coverboys and -girls

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