Chris Blattman

Don’t judge a book by its Indian cover

On the left, the American book cover for (the Man prize shortlisted) novel Serious Men. On the right, the more muted Indian cover.

Granted, the Indian book cover is pretty dull stuff. I’m all for spicing it up a little. But this? Apparently the market research shows that, not only do Americans want to see a Shiva on their Indian book covers, but Ganesh has to be giving him a lap dance.

More at the WSJ’s India Realtime blog.

The UK cover gives the Brits a little more credibilty:

10 Responses

  1. Try saying that stuff about lap dances in reference to Islam instead of Hinduism, see where it gets you.

  2. I did not like this post because of what Divya mentioned above and for its tone overall. It made me ponder why it is fashionable to be irreverent towards Indian Gods in America. Why is the appearance of Hindu deities in media still treated with disbelief and veiled ridicule rather than acceptance?

    Things haven’t been the same between this blog and I since four days ago. I hope the sourness over this leaves me soon and I can once again enjoy reading your posts… I’ve been a fan for a long time.. :-/

  3. I’m in the fag end of the book and loving every bit of it. Going by the story so far, I think the Indian / Brit covers do the story most justice///

  4. Haha! `Ganesh giving Shiva a lap dance’ has got to be the best description of that cover ever, Chris!

  5. Hahahaha, “Ganesh giving him a lap dance”! Actually Ganesh is sort of a son of Shiva (depending on which region you are from), so it is not as much of a “lap dance” as just a kid sitting on his father’s lap!

  6. I would go for the Indian one. It catches my interest for the novel, whereas the other two covers scare me off with their “in your face” style.
    And what is with the “a novel” missile of the US edition?

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