The AccursedJoyce Carol Oates’s novel The Accursed has been published with two very different dust jacket illustrations. Ron Charles writes in the Washington Post that they provide “a surprising study in national tastes and publishers’ methods.”

“Oates says that she likes both dust jackets, though she had concerns about the British version. ‘I think that, initially, I’d been worried that the U.K. cover would seem too lewd, or too “horror”-genre,’ she wrote via email. ‘But I think it’s very striking and in its way quite beautiful. The U.S. jacket could be representative of a more traditional romance novel, though with a slight twist.'”

“‘Dust jackets are always something of an enigma to me. One can only imagine what the paperback cover might be….!’”

Read the full article, Joyce Carol Oates and the accursed tale of two dust jackets.



  1. Personally, I prefer the American version. The British version is perhaps a way for people to connect True Blood with this book (even though the two respective works are very different from each other), but the American version makes me wonder what the character is smiling about, particularly as the title of the book seems to foreshadow dark elements coming her way.


  2. If you think of the possession of love and an evil possession there is a similarity. The woman is smiling as we do when we are in the throes of love.


  3. To me the lady on the American cover resembles a young JCO, and for that reason I enjoy looking at it for a minute before I open the book and return to reading it.


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