The Happy Thieves (Original Title: The Oldest Confession)

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The wild witty novel about the adventures of a master thief.

For this cover the concept was to show two art thieves, a man and a woman, in the process of stealing a painting. The painting would be shown in a forced perspective which allowed one side of the painting to be lined up exactly to the side of the cover. To achieve this effect, Avati first made a prop painting (Diego Velasquez ‘The toilet of Venus, ca 1650), stood it on the floor and photographed it in the proper perspective. Jane and a friend, Bill Convery, posed as the criminal couple. For years afterward, the prop painting remained hanging on Jim’s studio wall.

— The Paperback Art of James Avati


The Other Room

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A Southern White Girl Gets The Shock Of Her Life

From the back:

The iron grillwork of the gate stood between them…..and so did years of tradition and social custom. It was a barrier, built by hate and fear, between one color and another. He might have crossed that line, and lived on her side – but he was too proud to pass for white

James Avati’s first paperback cover illustration

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