Headless Women

It's a strange trend--the book cover featuring the headless woman. And it seems to be on the rise-- even the media have noticed. Where did these heads go? (And sometimes torsos, too.) Are they ever coming back, or are they gone for good? What does it mean?
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584 books · 138 voters · list created September 10th, 2009 by Lobstergirl (votes) .
23 likes · 
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Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Tried to add but couldn't:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57...


message 2: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Nevermind.



message 3: by Lynda (new)

Lynda A truly disturbing trend. I try not to get tied up in the whys of things, but is this trend going on with men on covers too? Why?


message 4: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Doing my research, I saw a very small number of headless men on covers. Maybe 2 covers of headless men for the 60+ headless women I saw.

There's also a chick-lit trend of only showing women's feet or legs. And a trend where faces are truncated, from the nose down or lips down.

Maybe publishers are aiming at a target buyer who is Everywoman, and if their cover model is headless and faceless and anonymous, women will be more likely to imagine themselves as the subject of the book?


message 5: by Lynda (new)

Lynda I would be more likely to think she was brainless and had no personality.




message 6: by Bettie (new)

Bettie What a fun subject - I hadn't noticed before.

:O))


message 7: by Bettie (new)

Bettie Lynda wrote: "I would be more likely to think she was brainless and had no personality.

"

If you look at this list there is nothing of literary note so your 'brainless' theory might be spot on.

:O))))



message 8: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Here is a link for a cover of "Hundred Headless Woman" by Max Ernst.

http://pics.librarything.com/picsizes...


message 9: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Sep 10, 2009 04:57PM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Earthly Joys A Novel and Virgin Earth A Novel are the only "Headless Men" covers I can think of.


message 10: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Suggest among GLBT titles.


message 11: by Bettie (new)

Bettie I love the way Pippi is tops here

:O)


message 12: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Again, I recall some gay-men's fiction with male torsos--abs and upper body--not porn, just celebratory....have no titles , however.

Women....There was a photo I recall, a woman seated , painted to look like a cello..slightly (slightly?) scurrilous feel to it...was it used for a book cover ? Or Who cares? Right?

Maplethorp exhibit book covers ? Shot in the dark.


message 13: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl That's a famous Man Ray photo (woman as cello). She's not headless, though. Her head is seen in profile.

http://www.doctorhugo.org/synaesthesi...


message 14: by Lucille (new)

Lucille and then, of course, there are the Gossip Girl books, where the faces are cut off at the eyes


message 15: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn It just occurred to me that with The Scarlet Letter, The Handmaid's Tale, and Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, the "headlessness" of the female is a major theme in the work ! Kinda like James Baldwin's "Nobody Knows My Name", etc. A "handmaid" in M. Atwood's chilling distopia is precisely a nobody in a slave caste valued only for her uterus.


message 16: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Metz I don't know why you would say there is nothing of literary merit on this list. It's true that there is a lot of contemporary romance - but there are a lot of classics as well. Shakespeare made the list, a couple by Tolstoy, several by Austen, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Handmaid's Tale, Dracula ... and more.


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