The Mothers (Final Sale)

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by Riverhead Design Labs

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Artist Statement

On creating the art for The Mothers by Brit Bennett

I created this illustration for the cover of Brit Bennett’s novel The Mothers, which explores friendship and motherhood in different forms, one of which being in the church community. Throughout my design process, I experimented with female silhouettes and some visual references to stained glass windows. Silhouettes can be a tricky design device: though they are an easy way to show that a book is about people, they are challenging to use in an inventive way. To combat this, I played around with overlapping the silhouettes and having them interact with color and pattern at their intersections. I wanted to reflect that this emotional and beautiful novel is centered on relationships between women and the ways that they affect one another. – Rachel Willey

About Brit Bennett, author of The Mothers

Born and raised in Southern California, Brit Bennett graduated from Stanford University and later earned her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan, where she won a Hopwood Award in Graduate Short Fiction as well as the 2014 Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers. Her work is featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and Jezebel. She is one of the National Book Foundation’s 2016 5 Under 35 honorees.


+ This edition is part of a collaboration between 20x200 and Riverhead Books. Read more about the collaboration here!


Museo Portfolio Rag

Edition Structure:
10"x8" | edition of 20 
14"x11" | edition of 250
20"x16" | edition of 50
30"x24" | edition of 10

Riverhead Design Labs

Riverhead Design Labs is an experimental junction where art, books, and invention intersect. A wing of the award-winning publisher Riverhead Books, the Design Labs team brings an artistic touch and a maker sensibility to each and every book cover. They also fabricate cutting-edge literary materials, from 3D printed author heads to silk-bound special editions, from enormous outdoor murals to covetable tote bags. Their creations have won the Art Director’s Club Art + Craft award, the Type Directors Club Medal of Excellence, and many other prestigious prizes. About Riverhead Books Founded in 1994, Riverhead Books is now well established as a publisher... Read More
of bestselling literary fiction and quality nonfiction. Throughout its history, Riverhead has been dedicated to publishing extraordinary groundbreaking, unique writers. Riverhead’s books and authors have won or been finalists for Pulitzer Prizes, National Book Awards, National Book Critic Circle Awards, MacArthur Genius Awards, Hurston Wright Legacy Awards, Dayton Literary Peace Prizes, and numerous other distinctions.
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