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?
1

by
4.06 avg rating — 462,292 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
2

by
4.14 avg rating — 537,608 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
3

by
4.30 avg rating — 1,092,171 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
4

by
4.06 avg rating — 684,105 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
5

by
3.79 avg rating — 11,484 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
6

by
4.25 avg rating — 2,194 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
7

by
3.63 avg rating — 79,871 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
8

by
4.08 avg rating — 979,239 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
9

by
3.94 avg rating — 1,853 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
10

by
3.41 avg rating — 719,212 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
11

by
3.81 avg rating — 8,957 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
12

by
4.12 avg rating — 1,519,651 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
12

by
3.78 avg rating — 7,451 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
14

by
3.71 avg rating — 3,782 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
15

by
3.88 avg rating — 19,659 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
16

by
4.16 avg rating — 772,496 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
17

by
4.19 avg rating — 42 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
18

by
4.12 avg rating — 57,356 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
18

by
4.10 avg rating — 26,256 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
20

by
3.73 avg rating — 1,385 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
21

by
3.99 avg rating — 16,810 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
22

by
3.86 avg rating — 90,919 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
23

by
3.95 avg rating — 23,579 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
24

by
4.07 avg rating — 10,536 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
25

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 11,291 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
26

by
3.68 avg rating — 1,698 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
27

by
4.25 avg rating — 46,963 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
28

by
4.27 avg rating — 11 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
29

by
4.13 avg rating — 9,827 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
30

by
3.73 avg rating — 7,333 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
31

by
3.96 avg rating — 11,271 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
32

by
3.83 avg rating — 3,330 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
33

by
3.79 avg rating — 120,222 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
34

by
4.12 avg rating — 271,493 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
35

by
3.79 avg rating — 4,288 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
35

by
3.78 avg rating — 215,248 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
37

by
3.63 avg rating — 47,809 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
38

by
3.97 avg rating — 12,884 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
39

by
4.10 avg rating — 3,407 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
40

by
4.12 avg rating — 211,877 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
41

by
4.24 avg rating — 739 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
42

by
4.22 avg rating — 8,963 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
43

by
3.69 avg rating — 135,386 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
44

by
3.43 avg rating — 22,143 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
45

by
3.90 avg rating — 2,403 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
46

by
3.91 avg rating — 2,056 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47

by
4.31 avg rating — 16 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
48

by
3.62 avg rating — 52,178 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
49

by
4.08 avg rating — 52,991 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
50

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 10,200 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
51

by
3.65 avg rating — 17,343 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
52

by
3.47 avg rating — 27,684 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
53

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 483 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
54

by
3.96 avg rating — 67,580 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
55

by
3.12 avg rating — 1,666 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
56

by
3.83 avg rating — 18,068 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
57

by
3.69 avg rating — 5,148 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
58

by
3.62 avg rating — 6,769 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
59

by
4.18 avg rating — 4,427 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
60

by
4.02 avg rating — 270 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
61

by
3.34 avg rating — 2,086 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
62

by
3.90 avg rating — 576 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
62

by
4.19 avg rating — 276,617 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
64

by
3.68 avg rating — 4,176 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65

by
2.91 avg rating — 342 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65

by
4.03 avg rating — 59,719 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
67

by
3.86 avg rating — 10,143 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
67

by
3.76 avg rating — 7,086 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
69

by
4.05 avg rating — 44 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
70

by
4.18 avg rating — 17 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
71

by
4.04 avg rating — 156,956 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
3.71 avg rating — 4,698 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
73

by
3.77 avg rating — 74,490 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
74

by
3.69 avg rating — 159,615 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
75

by
4.03 avg rating — 16,574 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
76

by
3.66 avg rating — 58 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
76

by
3.69 avg rating — 4,510 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
78

by
4.31 avg rating — 1,486 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
79

by
3.95 avg rating — 57,373 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
80

by
3.80 avg rating — 3,659 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
81

by
3.51 avg rating — 2,169 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
82

by
4.07 avg rating — 44,200 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
83

by
3.98 avg rating — 40,403 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
84

by
3.92 avg rating — 7,365 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85

by
3.80 avg rating — 33,607 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
86

by
4.07 avg rating — 1,256 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
4.10 avg rating — 43,361 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
88

by
4.10 avg rating — 3,469 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
89

by
4.10 avg rating — 149,529 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
90

by
4.15 avg rating — 32,704 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
91

by
4.01 avg rating — 969 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
92

by
3.98 avg rating — 166 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
93

by
3.55 avg rating — 1,114 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
94

by
3.97 avg rating — 8,725 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
95

by
3.53 avg rating — 5,776 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
95

by
3.20 avg rating — 330 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
97

by
3.45 avg rating — 1,365 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
98

by
3.97 avg rating — 2,419 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
99

by
3.84 avg rating — 21,443 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
100

by
3.86 avg rating — 69,622 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
flag this list (?)
619 books · 143 voters · list created September 10th, 2009 by Lobstergirl (votes) .
25 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Lobstergirl 4764 books
154 friends
Lynda 20251 books
290 friends
Bettie 15601 books
123 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 3245 books
861 friends
Bronwen 1002 books
32 friends
Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) 545 books
367 friends
Kelly 1414 books
40 friends
Tara 2053 books
495 friends

More voters…


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.


back to top



Related News

  Historian Alexis Coe's new book, You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington, arrived in U.S. bookstores in February. Coe...

Anyone can add books to this list.