Since the age of 13, Cig Harvey has been captivated by and committed to the medium of photography. Readers will recognize her work on book covers for Katie Crouch, Joshilyn Jackson and Anita Shreve, among others. Harvey had her first solo museum show at the Stenersen Museum, Oslo, Norway, in this spring in conjunction with the release of her monograph You Look at Me Like an Emergency (Schilt Publishing, May 25, 2012). She and her husband, filmmaker Doug Stradley, live in Boston and on the Maine coast.
On your nightstand now:
1Q84 by Haruki Murakumi, but its hard-coverness is a barrier between us. I'm just not a lover of hardcovers, too formal. For me the sign of a well-loved book is just how dog-eared and scrunched the spine is and if the paper is crinkly from dropping it in the bath.
Favorite book when you were a child:
The Far Away Tree by Enid Blyton. Magical lands, slippery slopes, angry pixies and Mr. Watzisname. It all makes sense now.
Your top five authors:
All of these authors I read to the exclusion of everything else in my daily life. If ever I see someone walking down the street reading, I ALWAYS stop and find out the title. For me, there is no stronger endorsement. I think all these authors are extraordinarily visual in their approach: Michael Cunningham, Jeanette Winterson, Haruki Murakami, Raymond Carver, Wally Lamb.
Book you've faked reading:
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I didn't intend to fake it, but I took it on holiday with me and it just didn't fit in with my cocktail schedule.
Book you're an evangelist for:
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. It is a visual feast of a book. I have probably bought this book at least 25 times and given it to friends. I ask them not to tell me if they don't like it as I feel so strongly about this book that our friendship would shift slightly and I would look at them differently.
Book you've bought for the cover:
A vintage little number, I Married Adventure by Osa Johnson. It has a linen leopard skin cover. What is not to love? Oh, and anything by Maira Kalman; she makes the world a more magical place.
Book that changed your life:
I feel like all my favorites have changed me in some way or another. That is the beauty of a great book; some part of you will forever be different by the end of it.
Favorite line from a book:
"For any artist, time in plenty and an abundance of ideas are the necessary basics of creativity. By dreaming and idleness and then by intense self discipline does the artist live." --from Art Objects by Jeanette Winterson. I love this line because it makes me feel less guilty when I take a tiny afternoon nap.
Books you most want to read again for the first time:
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, Tinkers by Paul Harding and East of Eden by John Steinbeck.
Favorite author for whom you have made a book cover:
Joshilyn Jackson. I love her and love her books.