Penguin imprint Fig Tree is changing the famous retro Soviet-style cover for A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, as it prepares to reissue Marina Lewycka’s three backlist novels (£7.99 each) along- side her new hardback, Various Pets Alive & Dead (£12.99, 1st March).
Various Pets Alive & Dead is the story of a couple, Marcus and Doro, and of their children, who crave order, independence and wealth in defiance of their parents’ commune-dwelling, idealistic past. The new look uses bold fonts and stripped-back colour palettes, integrating objects from the novels into the lettering. Publisher Juliet Annan said that it was a big decision to move away from the original look as it was so successful: "We have had it since 2005; we felt we had to make a change.
"Not all of Marina’s books are about eastern Europe. Various Pets Alive & Dead only has one eastern European character, so now seemed a good time to make a break with the old look."
Annan promised the new title would appeal to existing fans and new readers, saying: "I think she writes extremely funnily, yet like all comedy it is extremely serious, there is a dark subject in every single book. She’s always got several hobby horses she is whipping on, and this novel is no different."