This rich emerald green with black and white contrasting colours has got to be one of the more gorgeous covers in the Penguin Drop Caps series. The initial L is in fact composed of two Ls, one a black woodblock style, the vertical line dotted with the windows of high-rise apartments, the other a white curlicue L dancing over top. Jessica Hische’s drop cap makes allusion to the New York setting of the novel, as well as the dual identities of the narrator, a Korean-American industrial spy.
On the back is the quote “Quell the old tongue, loosen the lips. Listen, the hawk and cry of the American city.” This perfectly captures Chang-Rae Lee’s lyrical style, his frequent use of the word quell (four times), and the themes of language and the urban melting-pot.