I could stare at this thing for hours. I'm not sure how well you can see all the details -- I, of course, have the advantage of the actual book in front of me -- so let me list some of the things I see:
- We've got the pseudo-cruxifiction pose, except it's a woman, except her head has been cut off and a statue's head (David?) has been sewn on in its place.
- She's holding a giant sword and a severed head, which I don't think is her own (based on skin tone) -- so where is her head?
- There's a gaping torso wound on her that either contains a fetus, which is in the wrong place, or her glowing angelic stomach that also seems to have arms.
- Seriously, whose head is that? There's some biblical imagery that also could apply here: we might have an image of Judith, or of Herodias.
- Her hands/forearms appear to have been detached and then sewn back on to her body.
- Her feet: they are webbed. Is she amphibious?
- There are angels in the clouds above her head, and they are either crowning her with a bishop's mitre, or taking it off of her. Either way, the one on the right seems okay with this, but the one on the left seems pretty upset. Or perhaps they are playing a genteel sort of tug-of-war?
- She's superimposed (floating, I think) over some sort of fantastic landscape with waterfalls and the sun rising/setting behind her back, and all sorts of severed stumps -- perhaps alluding to her severed head and arms?
- Clever little thing: the title of the novel appears to have been forcibly ripped out of the canvas that the image is painted on.
So, my friends, what exactly is going on here? In truth, I have no idea. The novel is by Jessica Hagedorn, the cover was designed by Gail Belenson and executed by Papo De Asis: this I know. But I'm more than halfway finished the novel and, so help me, I can't find any connection between the front cover and the contents except for the title and author's name. Those match up.
As to everything else, it remains a mystery. A fascinating one, to be sure. Wouldn't this cover make you want to read the book, just to find out what on earth was going on?