Juman Malouf's 'The Trilogy of Two' Shows Off Her Her Unique Visual Style, And We Love It — EXCLUSIVE COVER REVEAL
Wes Anderson films are famous for their distinctive aesthetic that Michael Chabon once called neither "realism" or "surrealism" but "fabulist." Juman Malouf knows the appealing look and feel well, as the designer-turned-author has worked on, among many others, Anderson films Moonrise Kingdom and The Grand Budapest Hotel, the latter of which won Academy Awards for production design, hair and makeup, and costume design. (Deservedly, I might add.) If it matters, Malouf is also widely reported to be Anderson's girlfriend, and she had him on her arm at this year's Oscars. Malouf takes her talent to young adult literature with her debut novel The Trilogy of Two . And yes, don't worry, it contains original illustrations by the accomplished artist.
The Trilogy of Two escapes a New England summer camp and a hotel in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka to head somewhere even more magical and unique: the circus.
Identical twins Sonja and Charlotte are born quite ominously on All Hallows Eve. Tatty, the Tattooed Lady of a travelling circus found the twins on her doorstep in a pail, accompanied only by a letter and a heart-shaped locket. Tatty takes in Sonja and Charlotte only to learn that the girls are musical prodigies, able to play musical instruments before they were even able to walk. And as they got older, the entire circus bore witness to strange occurrences when the girls played — levitating an entire audience, for one. Sonja and Charlotte start drawing some unwanted suspicion to themselves and their adoptive circus family, and when Enforcers come after them, they venture outside the tents to enchanted lands, hoping to uncover the secrets surrounding their birth.
Just like Anderson's movies, The Trilogy of Two comes alive via its quirky cast of side characters, as you can imagine in such a wealth of opportunity like the circus. Tatty stands out, but there's also Kats von Stralen, the King of Kats, and many others. And they come alive not only through Malouf's words, but through her intricate pencil drawings that appear throughout. (And not for nothing, but this costume designer sure knows how to imagine up fashion for the whole cast.)
You can get a sneak peek of these illustrations through the Trilogy of Two cover, which features Sonja and Charlotte, shared exclusively with Bustle:
If I can go ahead a judge a book by its cover: The Trilogy of Two is going to be a stand-out.
Malouf was born in Beirut, Lebanon, but she grew up in London before travelling to the U.S. to attend Brown University. She has her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts for Set and Costume Design, and though she traveled extensively to design for theater in addition to her work on Anderson's films, Trilogy of Two is her debut novel. Here's hoping there's more where that came from.
Images Courtesy of Penguin Random House