In an unusual publishing move, Tom Wolfe's most-recent novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons, will be printed without the title on the cover of its paperback edition - just its author's name in giant letters.
The paperback cover of the sexually charged tale of contemporary US college life contains only Wolfe's name and a picture of a young woman in a green dress, presumably to symbolise Charlotte Simmons.
"We are using Tom Wolfe's name as a brand, rather than the title of the book. He is an icon himself," said Tanya Farrell, publicity director for Picador USA which is printing more than 2 million copies of the 738-page novel in which the 74-year-old writer tries to infiltrate the minds of American college students.
The back cover has reviews of the book but does not name the novel, although the name is printed on the inside cover.
Yeah, Kristin, I snorted at Ms. Farrell's disingenuous assertion that Wolfe is so famous his books don't need titles in order to sell. This is a marketing gimmick, pure and simple; a twist on the old ruse of presenting "an exciting, groundbreaking book" by a deliciously mysterious, anonymous new author.
I believe the marketing folks have erred in putting a photograph on the cover of this new edition. They should have left it blank, except for Wolfe's name, in small black print.
People would have called it The White Book.