Design: Sophie Harris
Taxidermy: Amanda’s Autopsies
Published: PB – 14/01/21
Kristen Arnett’s breakout debut is a darkly funny family portrait; a peculiar, bighearted look at love and loss and the ways we live through them together.
Needs to convey taxidermy, dysfunctional family, Florida, and love, life and death. This book is a heartfelt and darkly funny. For fans of quirky American fiction such as Fleischman is In Trouble and Maria Semple.
A starting point is looking at some form of taxidermy, that’s fun and a little creepy (but not horror) which will stand out.
I loved the idea of using taxidermy. I started by doing an extensive search of existing taxidermy images online, and found a photo of a taxidermy goat reading a book in an armchair, completely unbothered. The wit and humour in it I knew was the perfect tone for this book. I wanted to find an image that would fit the book’s themes, and I knew that commissioning someone could be the best route. I found Amanda’s Autopsies on Etsy, and found her pieces charming and very funny. Importantly for me, she also mentions that the pieces are ethically sourced, and would have previously been either snake food or roadkill. I found Amanda’s mice with a drink in its hand a perfect fit, as Jenna the protagonist often self-soothes with alcohol to tolerate her family. I also just loved it’s facial expression. To me it says: ‘you see what I have to put up with?’