Mural touts Irving book

One of Canada's best known publishers has gone to the wall for a top u.s. author.The wall in question is 23 feet square and located in downtown Toronto.The author is John Irving, who has written The World According to Garp, The...

One of Canada’s best known publishers has gone to the wall for a top u.s. author.

The wall in question is 23 feet square and located in downtown Toronto.

The author is John Irving, who has written The World According to Garp, The Hotel New Hampshire and A Prayer for Owen Meany, among other books.

Susan Roxborough, senior publicist for Random House of Canada, says it was her idea to use a painted mural to promote Irving’s new fall release, A Son of the Circus.

The book will be coming out under the Knopf Canada imprint, a division of Toronto-based Random House of Canada.

Roxborough says using a painted wall to advertise a book is a first, and a sign Canadian publishers are seeking more innovative ways to market their books.

She says the mural will work better than a single ad in either a magazine or newspaper, and will be helped considerably by having Irving’s name prominently displayed at the top of the painting.

Also, she says the impact of the painted wall will help set Irving’s novel apart from competing fall books from the likes of Robertson Davies, Alice Munro, Anne Rice and P.D. James.

Roxborough says the mural will stay up six weeks beginning in early September.

She says because of its duration and design, the painting will gather many repeat impressions.

The mural, from Toronto’s Murad, will reproduce the front cover of Irving’s new book.

The diamond-shaped painting will feature an elephant’s head with one tusk pointing up and another pointing down, an important element of the novel.

Behind the animal’s head is typical Indian filigree.