Literary Hub is pleased to reveal the cover for Clancy Martin’s How Not to Kill Yourself, forthcoming from Pantheon in March 2023. In the book, Martin “chronicles his multiple suicide attempts in an intimate depiction of the mindset of someone obsessed with self-destruction,” and delves into both the causes of suicidal behavior, the philosophy behind it, and the works of great writers—David Foster Wallace, Yiyun Li, Akutagawa, Nelly Arcan—who have written about their own experiences and ideations.
Here’s the cover, which was designed by Kelly Blair, Senior Art Director at Pantheon Books:
“When this book first came across my desk, I had two immediate thoughts,” designer Kelly Blair told Lit Hub. “The first was wow, what a brave and intriguing book; I can’t wait to read it. And the second was, whoa, how do you design a jacket for this title? Pairing Kent Rogowski’s artwork with the book’s title clicked together in a way that felt illuminating and surprising. A fitting balance of light and dark.”
“I wanted the cover to be something that, if I saw it while sitting in the rec room at the rehab, or in my therapist’s waiting room, I’d think: ok, somebody else gets it, this is the book I need to read,” said author Clancy Martin. “Also, a cover that, if a student or friend came to me in real pain or crisis, I could say, Hey, maybe try this, and hand them the book with confidence.”
“It can be hard to strike just the right balance tonally for a book whose subject is as delicate as this,” said editor Denise Oswald. “But Kelly Blair beautifully captured the things that first drew me to Clancy’s writing to begin with—the thoughtfulness, the playfulness, and the sense that what you might expect is not necessarily what you’re going to get when you crack these pages.”
Clancy Martin’s How Not to Kill Yourself: A Portrait of the Suicidal Mind will be published on March 29, 2023. You can preorder it here.