Cover to Cover with Etta and Otto and Russell and James

Since it’s Giller season and all, I thought I’d bring some bright and shiny CanLit to the table this week. Meet Etta and Otto and Russell and James, the tale of four intertwined lives.

Etta, 83, longs to see the ocean before she dies; she starts out walking early one morning from her Saskatchewan farm, determined to make it to the coast. Her husband Otto stays behind, taking up baking and papier-mâché. Their neighbour and best friend, Russell, takes off on a journey of his own – chasing Etta, but also his own path. James is either a coyote or a figment of Etta’s imagination, but either way is the only companion she welcomes on her journey.

For a book that debuted a mere nine months ago, Etta and Otto and Russell and James has been translated into a cornucopia of languages . And, in an interesting choice that stays true despite edition, typography takes centre stage on these covers.

Bulgarian edition     De Vicq unused cover     German edition

Hardcover Canadian edition   Hardcover edition   Paperback edition
Polish edition    UK & International edition    UK paperback edition

I especially like the UK edition (centre, centre) which uses “&” instead of “and” – meaning this cover could be used for any translation. Clever!

Which cover is your favourite? I’d love to see your comments. Feel free to link to any great cover art that I’ve missed! You can also catch my full review of Etta and Otto and Russell and James here.

Cover to Cover is a weekly project comparing and critiquing the various covers of popular novels, published every Wednesday. Find more posts in this series here.


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