Raquel J. Palacio
Raquel J. Palacio is a pseudonym for the American graphic artist, publisher and author Raquel Jaramillo, which to date has only been used for the publication of her first novel, »Wonder« (2012). Palacio studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York and completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She has been working as a book cover designer and art director since the mid-1980s. Among the stations of her career are the New York publishers Scribner, St. Martin’s and Clarkson Potter. She started working at the publishing house Henry Holt in 1990, ending up as Vice President and Creative Director. In her function as cover designer she has created designs for Salman Rushdie’s books, among others and has received numerous awards for her covers. She also wrote and photographed for the 1998 picture books »Dream, Baby, Baby« and »Ride, Baby, Ride«. In 2004 she produced text and atmospheric photos for the book »Last Summer – A Little Book for Dads«, a love letter to children and their fathers.
Palacio has been head of the children’s division of Workman Publishing in New York since 2006 and in late 2007 she began writing her first novel, »Wonder«. She had long wanted to be an author but waited until the right moment. »Wonder« is the story of ten-year-old outsider August, who since birth has had so many operations to his face that he only starts attending a proper school in the fifth grade. Palacio describes August’s face from various viewpoints and impressively portrays his experience when he finally goes to school. Palacio depicts August’s everyday school and family life with all of its highs and lows – an everyday existence in which an exceptional boy has to perform just as exceptionally to fit in, to be as normal as his surroundings. Despite the tragedy and heaviness of the subject matter the book has a subtle sense of humour. »Wonder« is a moving work which makes us think about our daily coexistence, particularly with people who are different from us, or even outsiders.
»Wonder« was a »New York Times« bestseller and rapturously received by the international press. To date the book has been translated into eight languages and in 2013 it was awarded Luchs des Monats (Lynx of the Month) by newspaper »Die Zeit« and Radio Bremen. Palacio is currently working on a new novel, »That Was the River«. She lives with her husband and two sons in Brooklyn, New York.