Judge a book by its cover!

In today’s visual culture, book cover occupies a dear place in the hearts of readers. Enthralling covers hold people spellbound, bring together readers and authors, and crystallize that inspired understanding the designer has towards the work on his hands. Following the Hong Kong Literature Series, American Life: A Chinese Historian’s Perspective, published by The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, has made it to the 2022 Association of University Presses Book, Jacket, and Journal Show under the book jackets and covers category.

The memoir by Hsu Cho-yun, a Chinese professor of history who has lived in the US for 60 years, is a thought-provoking analysis of the struggles faced by the American society. With an intimate knowledge of his adopted country and a sinological background, the historian is able to perceive what many other Americans may take for granted.

Book designer Chan Hei-shing spoke of the design concept: ‘The book details the origins of the tensions among different classes and ethnic groups in American society. The disposition of the book title American Life is the main visual of the dust jacket: the collapsing and scattering letters resemble isolated individuals in a fragmented society, leaving the hollowed, debossed print on top. Fading colours, including red, white, and blue, adopted from the US national flag, create the image of a ruined and fragmented country.’

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