The art on the cover of The Record Keeper is among the best in its genre. It does exactly what cover art is supposed to do – mirror the book itself. It does this in a dozen ways, Here are the three most compelling:
The Colors – The black and white color scheme showcases The Record Keeper’s most prominent theme: racial divide in America. North v South, Brown v Board, Jim Crow – time and again, we tend to break along racial lines. The Record Keeper’s setting, the future American south, is perfectly illuminated by this highly contrasted, Black v White dominated book cover.
The Birds – Flying over the stark backdrop of racial segregation are the birds – splotches of red. They could represent the blood that flows when brothers divide. Or, more optimistically, the birds could suggest the love that struggles to settle among US.
The Chains – At first blush, they’re easy to miss. But look closely at the dark structure on the right side of the cover and – all at once – you’ll see it’s wrapped in chains! This “hidden enchainment” speaks to another of the The Record Keeper themes: what does it mean to be enslaved? Is it just a physical impairment or are there mental, spiritual and emotional components? At first blush, the answer seems obvious, but The Record Keeper takes a closer look at slavery, neo-slavery and the process of emancipation.