How Words on a Page Become Images in Our Minds

Did Tolstoy really describe Anna Karenina? Did Melville ever really tell us what, exactly, Ishmael looked like? As readers, our ability to create an image of a character doesn’t really depend on our ability to see a  picture of them. Peter Mendelsund, Knopf's associate art director, explores how we visualize images from reading works of literature. He combines his profession as an award-winning designer, his first career as a classically trained pianist, and his love of literature to write a provocative and unusual investigations into how we understand the act of reading—What We See When We Read. He’ll also talk about the art of book design, and his book Cover.

<em>House of Meetings</em> by Martin Amis. From <em>Cover</em> by Peter Mendelsund
House of Meetings by Martin Amis. From Cover by Peter Mendelsund ( Knopf )
<em>C</em> by Tom McCarthy. From <em>Cover</em> by Peter Mendelsund
C by Tom McCarthy. From Cover by Peter Mendelsund ( Knopf )
<em>The Republic</em> by Plato. From <em>Cover</em> by Peter Mendelsund
The Republic by Plato. From Cover by Peter Mendelsund ( Vintage )
<em>The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo</em> by Stieg Larsson. From <em>Cover</em> by Peter Mendelsund
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. From Cover by Peter Mendelsund ( Knopf )
<em>The Man Who Hated Women</em> by Stieg Larsson. From <em>Cover</em> by Peter Mendelsund
The Man Who Hated Women by Stieg Larsson. From Cover by Peter Mendelsund ( Courtesy of Vintage Books )
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