‘Science fiction has monsters and spaceships; speculative fiction could really happen.’ Margaret Atwood’s chilling cautionary tale is illustrated by the Balbusso sisters.
Illustrated by Gérard DuBois
Afterword by Michael Chabon
Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Road is presented as a Folio collector’s edition, with artist Gérard DuBois’s beautiful and desolate illustrations and Michael Chabon’s New York Review of Books essay. Winner of the Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year Prize at the V&A Illustration Awards 2022.
A man and a boy push a cart piled with their worldly possessions through the scorched ruins of post-apocalyptic America. Emaciated, filthy and exhausted, the pair makes painfully slow but determined progress along the road that will ultimately lead to the sea and the hope of salvation. One of the most requested books in Folio reader surveys, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is a beautiful, harrowing and mesmerising account of the most horrific of scenarios. It earned McCarthy the Pulitzer Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and was adapted into a critically acclaimed film.
This much-anticipated new collector’s edition includes Folio author Michael Chabon’s illuminating review-essay, first published in the New York Review of Books, as well as the artwork of award-winning artist Gérard DuBois, who captures the beauty and brutality of McCarthy’s vision in breathtaking colour illustrations.
Winner of the Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year Prize and the Book Illustration category at the V&A Illustration Awards 2022.
‘My job is to take care of you. I was appointed to do that by God. I will kill anyone who touches you. Do you understand?’
Bound in screen-printed cloth
Set in Maxime
Black & white illustrated title-page spread and 6 colour illustrations
9″ x 5¾″
Published in the New York Review of Books in 2007, Michael Chabon’s review-essay ‘After the Apocalypse’ is a literary study of this important novel, purposely positioned as an afterword due to its revelations about the plot. Chabon discusses The Road as part of the post-apocalyptic sub-genre of science fiction, but ultimately he reads the book as an epic adventure that is driven by the human traits of the protagonists. ‘Though they and we fear it must end in tragedy and failure, we are rooting for them, pulling for them, from the first – and so, we suspect, is the author.’ McCarthy’s writing is immediate and visual, and, like Chabon in his afterword, illustrator Gérard DuBois has plunged deep into the narrative to explore the motivations of the characters in order to create the astonishing artwork for this edition. The most horrific and hopeful experiences of the man and boy have been captured in powerful portraits that emerge through the gloomy haze of smoke and ash. They complete an astonishing edition of a novel that is far from finished when the last page is read.
Cormac McCarthy is an esteemed figure in modern American literature and The Road is widely regarded as his greatest novel. The scenario isn’t new but his interpretation is startling: a poetic and prophetic narrative scattered with biblical references and archaic turns of phrase that ensure a timeless quality and sense of deep resonance. As man and boy traverse the barren landscape where plant and animal life have been obliterated and ash falls from a sunless sky, they walk a daily tightrope between survival and starvation. Picking through previously scavenged remains in derelict houses, they cling on to life and each other against the odds, while evading fellow survivors who have turned to cannibalism when the earth ceased to provide sustenance. Yet, despite the horror that has shaped the boy’s young life, there is hope. The tender portrayal of the uncompromising love between father and son is beautiful and heart-rending, and ultimately the best of humanity outshines the worst.
Michael Chabon is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist whose books include The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000), available as a Folio edition, and The Yiddish Policemen's Union (2007 winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel). Born in Washington, DC, and brought up in Columbia, Maryland, he graduated with an MFA in creative writing from the University of California, Irvine, and now lives in Berkeley. Most recently he is the author of Moonglow (2016).
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