The Penguin book dispensing machine (The Penguincubator) crops up every now and again but having mentioned the ‘Look at Life’ short film ‘Cover Story’ last week I had a better ‘look’ at it and what caught my eye was a different paperbacks dispensing machine. Not only that it has two PAN titles in it. ‘Road to Volgograd’ by Alan Sillitoe is second down on the left while ‘So Disdained’ by Nevil Shute is below that..
This weeks Glenn Steward artwork is for ‘A Lamp is Heavy’ by Sheila MacKay Russell. I think this is one of the more minimalist covers by Steward where he signed on the original artwork but his name only appears in block capitals along the left edge on the book cover. Sheila Mackay Russell was an Albertan nurse and best-selling author. Despite the disapproval of her parents, Russell left her hometown of Airdrie to train as a nurse in Calgary and Edmonton. Based on her nursing experiences, in 1950 she authored the semi-autobiographical ‘A Lamp is Heavy‘ which became an international bestseller. It was made into a film titled in the UK as ‘The Feminine Touch’, in Canada as ‘A Lamp is Heavy’ and in the US as ‘The Gentle Touch’ I’ve also two German editions that use the artwork from the PAN front cover.
I’m always very skeptical when I see books listed as ‘rare’ so when I saw a film tie-in PAN edition for ‘Arnhem‘ (filmed as ‘A Bridge Too Far’) I checked other sites and couldn’t find another copy. Luckily nobody else wanted it so I got it at a reasonable price. Having said I couldn’t find another copy they’ll be everywhere now.
Bob Fowke is holding an Exhibition of his 70s Sci-Fi Art at the Bishop’s Castle Arts festival. He will be at the Open studio, upstairs at the ‘Barn’, Writer’s Lodge, Bishop’s Castle, on the 16th, 17th & 18th February 2024, 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. Bob painted several covers for PAN before going on to write and illustrate his own books