One of my favourite things about working at Fairfieldbooks is stumbling upon little treasures. The other day I picked up Neil Gaiman’s Make Good Art Speech from our new release table and it’s definitely a gem. The text is from Gaiman’s commencement speech to the students of Philadelphia’s University of the Arts and the message is when everything gets tough, make good art (and make it in the good times too). It’s inspiring without being preachy or prescriptive and Chip Kidd’s design is itself great art. This lovely chance encounter somehow preempted what looks to be a Neil Gaiman filled year.
His latest novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane keeps selling out before I can grab it and there are rumours that HBO is working on a series based on his 2001 novel American Gods, to be released later this year. I’m half way through American Gods and it is excellent; dark and clever with all sorts of wonderful ancient god characters trying to find a place in modern America where people no longer believe in them. Through this fantasy Gaiman makes some very astute observations about contemporary society and in the process has created truly great art.
Make Good Art – $20 in hardback. The Ocean at the End of the Lane – $28 in paperback. American Gods – $22.95 in paperback.