An Interview with the Balbusso sisters.

Forthcoming publications are keeping the Production team busy, and a particular favourite this month is The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood – a book that cried out for a commission from the talented Balbusso twins, Anna and Elena. After the beautiful illustrations they produced for Ivan Turgenev’s First Love and the great chivalric poem The Song of Roland they have yet again delivered stunning artwork. Confirmation that we made the right decision came from the author herself – Margaret Atwood described them as ‘terrific’ and went on to write in her introduction to our edition that ‘[they] echo both the feel and the colour palette of the thirties and forties, the age of the rise of the major dictatorships – and the signage and branding, as it were, of the future Gilead.’

There has been considerable discussion here about the twins’ unusual method of working in tandem and we sought to learn more about their unique relationship and illustrative process. You can click here to read the full interview.

As we await the delivery of The Handmaid’s Tale – and the other new titles coming in December and January – Limited Edition Production Manager, Kate Grimwade and I are setting off for Germany today to attend the PrintStars 2011 awards ceremony in Stuttgart. One of our printers, Beltz, entered with Sharpe’s Birds of Paradise and was, to our considerable delight, shortlisted. Let’s hope the judges share introducer David Attenborough’s enthusiasm for the edition. Update from the winner’s circle – hopefully – to follow.