Writers Leave the Book Covers to Him
By MATT MCCUE
Rodrigo Corral is the darling of the literati—even though he’s not a writer, agent or publisher.
Over the past 15 years, Mr. Corral has designed more than 500 book covers for works such as Chuck Palahniuk’s “Fight Club,” Jeffrey Eugenides’s “The Marriage Plot” and Gary Shteyngart’s “Super Sad True Love Story.” He draws inspiration for his bold, memorable illustrations from lines in the books, his personal experience and other, more peculiar places.
The idea for the cover of James Frey’s infamous “A Million Little Pieces”—an outstretched hand covered in a rainbow of sprinkles—came from a Nasonex nose spray commercial that showed medicine traveling through a human body, coupled with his spotting the tiny decorative balls at an industrial cake shop on West 25th Street.
Mr. Corral’s next design will debut Tuesday, for Junot Diaz’s short story collection, “This Is How You Lose Her.” To create its multi-colored image of a broken heart, Mr. Corral looked inward. “It is a classic example of how I bring my own experiences to a cover,” he said. “I was going through a bad relationship and it was my ‘don’t think about what I am doing right now’ way of distracting myself.”