Greetings From the Politburo

To answer a couple of e-mails I’ve gotten about the John Hersey illustration accompanying the NYT Sunday Book Review article about me and my books, yes, I think it’s supposed to be me, and as evidence of this, I have paired it above with what I suspect was its model, the picture on my bio page, in which I am glowering into the camera. Paired up as they are, you can see how you can get from one to the other. I suspect that this was all Mr. Hersey was given to go on, in terms of pictures of yours truly.

I kinda like it, although I also think it looks less like me and more like a cautionary tale of what I might look like in a quarter century if I don’t go easy on the bacon and vodka. Somewhere else someone has described it as looking like a 60-year-old Russian gangster; I was thinking more of politburo type myself, which is six of one and half dozen of the other, I suppose. I also think it looks a bit like what might happen if Yul Brynner and I got into a bit of rough trade in the teleport pods from The Fly and then had our genes splice at a critical moment. I’m not sure that’s really an image you want to conjure up, however.

It could be a lot worse, though, because for a while I’ve been thinking of replacing that photo on my bio page with this one:

Imagine what might have happened if poor Mr. Hersey had had to work with that.

10 Comments on “Greetings From the Politburo”

  1. I notice he also made you a bit more pointy-headed than you are in actuality.

    To date, my favorite “author photo” has Peter Watts‘ website photo. A close second is Neal Stephenson’s from the back of Cryptonomicon

  2. Hmmm…I hypothesized over on BTW that the illustration was possibly meant to be Heinlein instead, given the heavy references to him in the piece and based on comparing the drawing with several images of Heinlein, including this promotional poster for the upcoming Heinlein centennial.

    However, now that you place it side by side with your author pic, your resemblance to the illustration is inarguably strong.

    Which has led me to conclude that no only are you going to be Heinlein’s literary heir, but you’re also apparently going to inherit his face. Enjoy!

  3. booksellerbynight – This is Patty Cryan's book blog, a place for her to put her book reviews and things. It is a mirror site for her LiveJournal site at ["What's a JOATAMON?", you may ask. And many of you do. It's an acronym for "Jack Of All Trades and Mistress of None", and was the name for my hypothetical rock band, back when everyone and their brother had a hypothetical band.] [Some of my Gentle Readers actually have not-so-hypothetical rock bands. But this is a book blog.] ABOUT THE BLOGGER: Patricia M. Cryan is, by turns, a retailer who never sleeps, a walking library of children's literature, and a freelance editor who makes strong folk cry at regular intervals. She serves as General Partner for Mike's Comics [], a mail order and Internet company in its 31st year of operation, which carries comic books, science fiction and fantasy books and collectibles, roleplaying game supplies, fantasy greeting cards, and much, much more. She has been active in bookselling since 1987 and is a member of The New England Children's Bookselling Advisory Council. Her most current literary project involves editorial work on THE EDGECLIFF STORYBOOK; an excerpt can be found at Please feel free to comment, or to e-mail me.
    Patty Cryan

    Love the new background for the Whatever.

    The drawing’s kinda cool, too.

Exit mobile version