Éditions Marchialy is a French publishing house specialized in non-fiction books: journalism, anecdotes, and initiatory accounts are part of their catalog that is all about true stories. Their latest publication is titled L’Écho du Lac, written by the Bulgarian author Kapka Kassabova. After the Cold War, her family emigrated from Bulgaria to New Zealand: looking back on her family history, she realized that she was now part of the fourth generation to have emigrated from the country, without coming back. Therefore, the book tells the story of her return to her origins, in the region of the great lakes Ohrid and Prespa, between North Macedonia, Albany and Greece. During her trip, she meets different people who all happen to have the same story of dispersion in their families – whether it be due to authoritarian regimes or wars. The book deals with the question of identity, and how it is at the same time constructed by oneself and inherited by one’s legacy. Originally published in English as To the Lake: A Balkan Journey of War and Peace, it was translated into the French by Morgane Saysana.
The cover features a linocut illustration made by the graphic designer and wood engraver Guillaume Guilpart, who is in charge of Marchialy’s visual identity. The engraving gives a tortuous aspect to the mountains surrounding the lake, as an echo of the labyrinthine trajectories of the people the author met. The lake on the contrary, shows no details, only the depth and darkness of what is forever lost in the past. The title of the book is set in Mars Extended from Production Type: the way it emerges from the depth of the lake adds a layer of mystery makes us want to know more about the secrets the lake keeps. Mars is combined with Traulha Lineara from Bureau Brut, which is also the typeface used for the publisher’s logo.
The engraving was not only made for the design of the cover: the illustration is also available in a limited edition (70 pieces) at BATT Coop, a Paris-based platform for the distribution of self-printed and self-published items.