When Whitney Cookman was designing the cover of my book in 2007 I showed him several of my dot paintings. He liked this one and used it. It has an apt pointillism; the book is, after all, a 300 page accumulation of pointed anecdotes, unrelated but linked by the accident of being placed next to each other, having taken place in the same year-of-age. What plot the book sustains is invented in the readers mind. The stories are amusing and bite-sized, like the candy the cover art seems to suggest. The paperback edition, published today by Three Rivers Press, has a different cover with a bright orange balloon on it, not painted by me. The balloon is supposed to push the idea that A Book of Ages is a perfect birthday gift, and it is that. Subtlety doesn't usually sell a million copies. But I did like the candy-colored dots.