Rion Amilcar Scott’s short-story dreamscape, “The World Doesn’t Require You,” won wide acclaim as one of 2019’s most ambitious books for its portrayal of a fictional, contemporary, Maryland town founded by descendants of a successful slave revolt.
Now Buzzfeed has named the cover art for that book, by Atlanta artist Fahamu Pecou, as one of “the most stunning book covers of 2019.”
“The kind of art you want to frame,” the website said of Pecou’s work.
Buzzfeed also named Scott’s book one of the best of the year, calling it one of the most original short story collections of 2019, for its genre-bending approach to exploring what it means to be African American in these times.
In an Instagram post this week, Pecou called the designation “an honor!!!”
The work was originally painted in 2013 as part of Pecou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Blings,” series. The large-format paintings address how black, male identity can be boxed in by stereotypes.
Graphic artist Laywan Kwan spotted the painting as she searched for images to use for the cover design of Scott’s book. Scott told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last fall that he couldn’t “imagine another piece of art being so in sync with the vision of this book.”
Buzzfeed also named Atlanta poet and Emory University Professor Jericho Brown’s latest collection “The Tradition,” among the best books and book covers of 2019.
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