Cover photograph by Wendy Idele
The Forced Revised Hardcover Edition:
Jacket photograph by Herman Estevez
The Original Hardcover Edition:
Jacket photograph by Wendy Idele
by Tom Perrotta // St. Martin's Press / Griffin
An article appeared in the New York Times Book Review discussing my controversial cover designs for Tom Perrotta's Little Children.
Inside the List
By DWIGHT GARNER
Published: January 23, 2005
COVER STORY: Tom Perrotta's fourth novel, ''Little Children,'' had a short run on the hardcover fiction list last April -- one of this page's happier surprises in 2004. ''Little Children'' is a lovely book about frazzled young suburban couples trying to cope with adultery and child-rearing, and it arrived with a perfect cover image: a pair of crisp Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers, those iconic childhood munchies, facing off against a green lawn. Pepperidge Farm, alas, did not appreciate the homage. The company told Perrotta's publisher, St. Martin's Press, to lose the crackers. St. Martin's complied, substituting a pair of chocolate chip cookies (baked by Dori Weintraub, Perrotta's quick-thinking publicist) in later press runs. ''The cookies were a great fast compromise, but they didn't have the same impact,'' Perrotta said in a telephone interview. ''Little Children'' is out this month in paperback, and seems destined to hit the paperback fiction list in coming weeks. Best of all, Perrotta reports, the goldfish are back -- a photograph of live ones this time, stranded in a plastic sack. ''I love that it's not just a terrific cover but kind of an in-joke,'' he says, ''a way to reclaim the image.'' Perrotta -- his previous books include ''Election,'' which spawned the Reese Witherspoon movie -- is also happy that the new cover captures some of the book's darker undertones. ''Isn't there something just a little bit dire,'' he asks, ''about a bag of fish just lying there on the grass?''
And here's a One-question interview with the author, Tom Perrotta.