They say don’t judge a book by its cover, yet oftentimes, we remember a book precisely by its cover. What are the stories behind the faces of some of our favourite titles? Listen to authors, editors and publishers tell us their design stories as we uncover one book at a time.

Latitudes of Longing

What connects the Andaman Islands, to Myanmar, to Nepal and to the Tibetan plateau? Listen to author, Shubhangi Swarup, tell us about the various design journeys she went on for the covers of her stunning debut novel, Latitudes of Longing.

Between Queens and the Cities

When we map our lives, what do we see? What do we not see? What do we want to see? Niranjan Kunwar, author of Nepal's first queer memoir BETWEEN QUEENS AND THE CITIES, tells us how he worked closely with an illustrator to tell the kind of story he wanted to tell from cover to cover.

Harmless Like You

What is the connection between a mother, a son, a bald cat and splashes of colours? Listen to author Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, talk about the covers of her first novel, HARMLESS LIKE YOU. The novel was first published in the UK and has been translated into Dutch, Italian, Turkish, German and Portuguese.

The Gypsy Goddess

Poet, writer and translator, Meena Kandasamy, shares with us the story behind the covers of her first novel, THE GYPSY GODDESS. The novel was translated into Tamil, Dutch and French; listen to what Meena has to say about how the cover art changes as the novel moves through these languages.


Bina Theeng is a force to reckon with. In Episode 6 of The Cover Story, Bina ji tells us what it takes for a writer to get the kind of cover art that she wants. Listen to the story behind the stunning book jacket of her fresh new collection of short stories, YAMBUNERA.

Dhoopee (The Juniper)

August is Women in Translation month and as we close this month, we speak with poet, Toya Gurung, for episode 5 of THE COVER STORY. Toya ji tells us the stories behind the covers of her book-length poem, Dhoopee (The Juniper) first published in Nepali in 1995. The book was later translated into English by Ann Hunkins in 2006.

The Tutor of History

For our fourth edition, the author of THE TUTOR OF HISTORY, Manjushree Thapa speaks to us about the story behind the changing covers of the first ever Nepali novel written in English to be published internationally.

The Gurkha's Daughter

For our third edition, the author of THE GURKHA'S DAUGHTER, Prajwal Parajuly speaks to us about the story behind the cover of the book and how the design of the cover changed (or didn't) as the book underwent several reprints in various continents and languages.

The Wayward Daughter

For our second edition, the author of THE WAYWARD DAUGHTER, Shradha Ghale speaks to us about how she chose the cover of her debut novel.

Old Demons New Deities

To start us off, we have the editor of OLD DEMONS NEW DEITIES, Tenzin Dickie.

Available at Tibet Bookstore (Thamel, Kathmandu), outside Nepal, check local bookstores/online.

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I had absolutely zero say. My publisher they sent me, what they told me would be the cover. They were like, "Look! Here's your cover. Do you have any thoughts?" But it was clear... I mean, like, that was gonna be the cover. When I saw it, I really liked it. I knew that it wasn't my call to choose the cover, so I wasn't envisioning a cover in my head. But when I saw the cover that they had chosen, I found it unexpected and yet just right for the book because the cover with Ang Tsherin Sherpa's art, it's visual art, that's a cross between tradition and modernity and that's sort of where the book is at, except it's literary art. But it was nice for me to know that, "Oh, I know the person who produced this art," and I really like his work. When you sign up with these publishers...

Most of the time, they have their own people, their designers or their marketing people, and then they choose the cover. So no one ever asked me, "What do you think the cover should be? Or, "What are your thoughts?" I had not been thinking about the cover at all. I was just working on the manuscript, and then you know, once that was done, my part of the job was done.

Literally, the only person who had a negative reaction to the cover was my mother. She was like, "Why is this guy in underpants?" "Everybody else was like, "Oh, this is a great image!" It's very eye-grabbing, right? Which is like...what, yeah generally that's what marketers want for a book, that it's supposed to catch your eye and like stand out in the bookstore.