Month: July 2009

Our lovely friends Lauren and Catherine Lee or, as they’re better known on the internet, the Asian Cajuns, recently styled a photo shoot here at the Nest.

The results are quite fetching, if I do say so myself.

Asian Cajun photoshoot

That’s model Haley in our amphitheater, shot by Jamie Hopper.  Though I’m no fashion expert, I would say she looks “nice.”

Check out more pictures here, courtesy of the Asian Cajuns.  Their post on the making-of is great for those of you who (a) like a little background on your photo shoots, and (b) really like the Arms Akimbo stance (see: me in the group shot).  I thought we were all supposed to look triumphant.  My bad.

Thanks for thinking of us, everyone!  The Wren’s Nest is happy to be a background anytime.

Wayfarer’s Diary, this year’s publication from the high school editors of the Wren’s Nest Publishing Company, will be released at the Decatur Book Festival over Labor Day weekend.

The editors engaged two professional designers — Lauren and Lucy — to put in bids for a cover.  I can’t tell you whose is which just yet, but here’s the front cover for one of the bids:

Potential Cover for Wayfarer's Diary

(Here’s a bigger version.)

And here’s the front, back, and spine of the other bid:

A Potential Wayfarer's Diary Cover

(Here’s a bigger version.)

What do you think of the covers?  Should the editors should go wavy or dusty?

Your vote doesn’t count for anything (no really, we’ll just throw it in the trash), but the Wren’s Nest Publishing Company editors do read this blog.  I’m sure they’d appreciate your braining.

We’ll reveal the chosen design at the Decatur Book Festival.  See y’all there!

Previously: When the Publishing Company Visited the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Paste Magazine.

Brer Rabbit’s influence on popular culture knows no bounds.

Need proof?  Forget Peter Rabbit or Bugs Bunny.  Look no further than this clip of Pecanne Log The Golden Girls

[youtube ycdO89-yB50]

And for our Yankee readers, Blanche’s assessment of southerners is completely accurate.  We can’t learn y’all that kind of charm.

Have you heard about the recent controversy surrounding the cover art for the novel Liar by Justine Larbalestier?  Me neither until about 20 minutes ago.  Here, allow me to fill you in:

Larbalestier wrote a Young Adult novel with an African American protagonist — a compulsive liar who decides to stop, but finds doing so more difficult than she imagined.  Bloomsbury Publishing picked up the novel and chose a cover for the novel featuring a picture of a white girl.

Cover of Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Commence controversy.

Larbalestier, who is white, speaks gracefully about the situation, but is quick to concede the following: authors do not have final say on their covers.  But to say the very least, she is openly displeased.

Now, hold onto your britches: this isn’t a new issue for authors.  In fact, none other than Joel Chandler Harris faced the same problem when it came to illustrations of his black, fictional protagonist, Uncle Remus.

The Uncle Remus that Harris created was a tribute to the slaves he admired and respected during his youth on Turnwold Plantation.  Harris considered the original illustrations of Uncle Remus to be condescending caricatures that didn’t do his character justice.

Doesn’t exactly conjure up thoughts of wisdom and worldliness.  Publishers believed that a minstrelized Uncle Remus would sell better than a more authentic illustration.

Over 100 years later, the same problem persists in a big way.   Novels featuring African Americans on the cover are usually promoted differently, and thus do not sell as well as novels with covers featuring white folks, perpetuating the issue.  Frustrating.

I urge you to read Larbalestier’s blog post — she discusses the situation thoroughly.  And just for the record, the Australian cover has nobody on it at all.

UPDATE, August 8, 2009: Here’s the new North American cover.  (h/t @russmarshalek)

The AJC recently reported that the Allman Brother’s “Big House,” where they recorded many of their most memorable and influential songs, will open as a (house) museum this December.

Allman Brothers Band's Big House in Macon, Georgia

Not only do we look forward to welcoming the Big House into the club of Georgia landmarks, but we also look forward to teaching them the club password and handshake.

In the meantime, let me highlight some of the similarities between us and them —

  • “The Big House” is a nickname the band members gave the house based on its size.  It’s big, you see.
  • “The Wren’s Nest” is a nickname the Harris family gave the house because there were some birds there.
  • The Big House is planning to present Duane Allman’s bedroom as it looked when he died in 1971.  Expect some serious funk action.
  • The Wren’s Nest has preserved Joel Chandler Harris’ bedroom just as it was since his death in 1908.  Expect some serious spittoon and gourd action.
  • The Big House will have a bandstand outside for shows and concerts.
  • The Wren’s Nest has a concrete stage from the 1920s for children and their garbled singing needs.
  • Members of the Allman Brothers Band would often stop by The Big House for a trip down memory lane.
  • Old ladies stop by The Wren’s Nest to tell us how awful our “new” (21 years old) paint colors look.
  • Some pretty awesome and influential art was created at The Big House.  You know, about Midnight Riders.
  • Some pretty awesome and influential art was created at the Wren’s Nest.  You know, about rabbits.

Overall, the Big House looks pretty neat, and I’m excited to visit when it isn’t 106 degrees in Macon.  I will not arrive by motorcycle.  Thank you.

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