1.13.2017

Appreciating Gray Foy's Cover Art for Lilith by J. R. Salamanca




Within the infinitude of available Lilith literature and art, seldom does J. R. Salamanca's(1922-2013) name or contribution to it — his novel Lilith  reap more than a footnote or brief mention in its evolving lore.  Rarer, still, is proper recognition afforded the artist, Gray Foy (1922-2012), responsible for Lilith's awesome jacket painting.


My copy, first edition, 1961


Gray Foy's artwork, in fact, is the sole reason I spotted Lilith's spine on the second-hand shelf — so artful and inviting it was, suggestive of something gothic and possibly serpentine — bait as novel and irresistible as the apple was for Eve to this hooked bibliophile.


*  J. R. Salamanca doesn't even garner a mention in Contemporary Novelists, 3rd edition (1982), the then go-to database of English language writers, edited by James Vinson and D. L. Kirkpatrick. People are more apt to remember the 1964 adaptation of Salamanca's Lilith, starring a host of Hollywood up-and-comers — Warren Beatty, Jean Seberg, Peter Fonda, Gene Hackman — than recall, as so often happens with even modestly successful adaptations, that a moving and far more memorable novel was there first. 



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