TIME's most literary covers go on show in legendary Porto bookstore

·2-min read
TIME has featured 14 of the 117 Nobel Prize for Literature winners on its cover since 1923.

A selection of iconic magazine covers are on display in an exceptional setting. In fact, TIME has joined forces with the famous Portuguese bookstore Livraria Lello to exhibit covers featuring some of the greatest authors of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The magazine has partnered with Porto's "cathedral of books" as the host of its latest covers exhibition, which asks "What Makes a Nobel?" The exhibition showcases winners of the legendary Nobel Prize in Literature through the covers of TIME, as well as the writers who "could have" received the world's top literary award.

The American publication has featured 14 of the 117 Nobel Prize for Literature winners on its cover since 1923. The most recent was the late American writer Toni Morrison, who became the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Over the years, several winners have graced the TIME cover multiple times. The former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill leads the way with six covers, followed by the American playwright Eugene O'Neill and William Faulkner.

Creating interest in books

As well as Nobel Prize winners, the Livraria Lello bookstore has also chosen to honor more than 100 writers who "could have" received the award, many of whom also featured on TIME covers. Such figures include William Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, J.R.R Tolkien and George Orwell. "We want to arouse curiosity for these authors and, consequently, curiosity about books," explains Aurora Pedro Pinto of Livraria's executive board.

Creating interest in books has been part of the Lello bookstore's mission since it was built in 1906. The establishment houses more than 60,000 books in Portuguese, as well as in Spanish, French and English. Before the pandemic, the store would regularly see book-lovers and students in Porto rub shoulders with hordes of tourists from all over the world. In fact, many visitors are keen to see the first floor of the Lello bookstore, whose astonishing sculpted staircase is said to have inspired the British novelist J.K. Rowling in the first volume of her successful series, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone." Until the end of the year, literature lovers from Porto and further afield will also be able to catch the exhibition, "What Makes a Nobel?

Caroline Drzewinski

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