It all begins with a letter. Fall in love with Penguin Drop Caps, a new series of twenty-six collectible and gift-worthy hardcover editions, each with a type cover showcasing a gorgeously illustrated letter of the alphabet by superstar type designer Jessica Hische, whose work has appeared everywhere from Tiffany & Co. to Wes Anderson's film Moonrise Kingdom to Penguin's own bestsellers Committed and Rules of Civility. A collaboration between Jessica Hische and Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley, the series design encompasses foil-stamped paper-over-board cases in a rainbow-hued spectrum across all twenty-six book spines and a decorative stain on all three paper edges. Penguin Drop Caps debuts with an “A” for Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, a “B” for Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and a “C” for Willa Cather’s My Ántonia, and continues with more classics from Penguin.
J is for Joyce. From its chronicling of youthful days at Clongowes Wood school to the radical questioning of all convention and the desire “to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race,” James Joyce’s highly autobiographical A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man portrays Stephen Dedalus in his Dublin upbringing. In doing so, it provides an oblique self-portrait of young Joyce himself. At its center lie questions of origin and source, authority and authorship, and the relationship of an artist to his family, culture, and race. Exuberantly inventive in style, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man subtly and beautifully orchestrates the patterns of quotation and repetition instrumental in its hero’s quest to create his own character, his own language, life and art: “to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use—silence, exile, and cunning.”