The New Russian Book

A Graphic Cultural History

  • Birgitte Beck Pristed

Part of the New Directions in Book History book series (NDBH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Birgitte Beck Pristed
    Pages 1-30
  3. Russian Book Design from the Soviet Period to the Present

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 31-31
    2. Birgitte Beck Pristed
      Pages 33-59
    3. Birgitte Beck Pristed
      Pages 61-82
    4. Birgitte Beck Pristed
      Pages 83-102
  4. Changing Values in Visual Representation of Literature

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 103-103
    2. Birgitte Beck Pristed
      Pages 149-180
  5. Three Generations of Russian Book Designers

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 215-215
    2. Birgitte Beck Pristed
      Pages 217-228
    3. Birgitte Beck Pristed
      Pages 299-307
  6. Birgitte Beck Pristed
    Pages E1-E1
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 309-343

About this book


“The New Russian Book is an amazing cultural history of post-Soviet Russia analyzed through the ups and downs of its extraordinary graphic culture. The author introduces us to scores of Russian books published over the last few decades, cheap paperbacks and richly bound hardbacks, popular fiction and rare volumes, and helps us to discover the extraordinary story behind every cover and every binding. In her work, Beck Pristed brilliantly demonstrates how reading involves understanding with your hands as well as with your eyes.” — Damiano Rebecchini, co-editor of Reading in Russia and of the forth-coming A History of Reading in Russia, Russia

This book takes up the obtrusive problem of visual representation of fiction in contemporary Russian book design. By analyzing a broad variety of book covers, the study offers an absolutely unique material that illustrates a radically changing notion of literature in the transformation of Soviet print culture to a post-Soviet book market. It delivers a profound and critical exploration of Russian visual imaginary of classic, popular, and contemporary prose. Among all the carelessly bungled covers of mass-published post-Soviet series the study identifies gems from experimental designers. By taking a comparative approach to the clash of two formerly separate book cultures, the Western and the Soviet, that results both in a mixture of highbrow and lowbrow forms and in ideological re-interpretations of the literary works, this book contributes to opening an East-West dialogue between the fields of Russian studies, contemporary book and media history, art, design, and visual studies. 


Soviet Design Book history Post-Soviet Jacket Cover

Authors and affiliations

  • Birgitte Beck Pristed
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Culture and SocietyAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark

Bibliographic information