Cased Classics by Peter Owen

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Cased Classics by Peter Owen

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Peter Owen publishers have come out with an interesting series of novels which feature artwork from contemporary British artists printed paper-over-board beneath elegant die-cut jackets. I love that this collection features international classics, which is refreshing for a set of beautiful gift editions. Each volume is bound with printed endpapers, head and tail bands and a ribbon marker. The classy die-cut dust jackets are designed by James Nunn.

Books in the series

Cased Classics by Peter Owen
Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima

Cover art: Featuring Peculiarities by Fraser Taylor 
Translator: Meredith Weatherby 
Where to buy: Confessions @ Book Depository Confessions @ Amazon (US)

About the book: Confessions of a Mask tells the story of a Japanese boy’s development towards a homosexual identity during and after the Second World War. In narrating his progress from an isolated childhood through adolescence to manhood, he exposes his inner life, full of repressed homosexual desires and preoccupations with sadomasochism and death. The enduring power of the novel is in part owing to its themes of fantasy, despair and alienation, its eloquent voice, but also its autobiographical nature – the equally enduring fascination with the life and character of one of Japan’s most turbulent artists. The cased cover features a die-cut mask, revealing part of the illustrated boards beneath. 

Ice by Anna Kavan

Cover art: Featuring Wish You Were Here by Naomi Frears 
Foreword: Christopher Priest 
Where to buy: Ice @ Book Depository | Ice @ Amazon (US) 


About the book: In a land devastated by war, a nameless narrator pursues an elusive white-haired woman in the clutches of a government official known only as ‘The Warden’. Neither will giver her up, but a freak ecological apocalypse is indifferent to their rival claims. As a terrifying wall of ice continues its incursion, freezing everything in its path, it seems that only the white-haired woman is truly resigned to the fate of the world. 

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Cover art: Featuring Punker by Andy Harper
Translator: Hilda Rosner | Foreword: Pico Iyer
Where to buy: Siddhartha @ Book Depository Siddhartha @ Amazon (US)

About the book: Dissatisfied with the traditional Vedic way of life, Siddhartha, the handsome son of a Brahmin, leaves his family and his friend, Govinda, in search of a higher state of being. Having experienced the myriad forms of existence, from the wealthy and luxurious, to the pleasures of sensual and paternal love, Siddhartha finally settles down beside a river where a humble ferryman teaches him his most valuable lesson yet.

The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas

Cover art: Featuring Clouds are Pushing in Grey Reluctance by Kaye Donachie
Translator: Elizabeth Rokkan
Where to buy: Ice Palace @ Book Depository | Ice Palace @ Amazon (US)

Cased Classics by Peter Owen

About the book: In rural Norway, one evening after school, eleven-year-old Siss and Unn strike up a deep and unusual bond. When the next day Unn sets off alone into the wintry woods in search of a mysterious frozen waterfall, known locally as the ‘ice palace’, and does not return, a devastated Siss takes it upon herself to find her missing friend and ensure she is not forgotten.


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