The Grove Press Reader 1951-2001
By S. E. Gontarski (Editor)
(Grove Press, Paperback, 9780802137807, 384pp.)
Publication Date: December 2000
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In 1951 Barney Rosset acquired Grove Press and proceeded to build it into one of the most controversial and influential houses of the era, publishing Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac, D. H. Lawrence, Octavio Paz, Jorge Luis Borges, the Marquis de Sade, Frantz Fanon, and many others. For nearly three decades, readers sought out and read books because they were Grove books. In celebration of the past half-century, Grove Press is now offering a collection of the seminal writers it has published over the past fifty years. The reader opens with an introductory overview by noted Beckett scholar S. E. Gontarski, which recounts Grove Press's early days as a small upstart house, the battles against censorship, the halcyon years and the less profitable times, the attacks by militant feminists and Cuban emigres, and the merger with Atlantic Monthly Press. The book includes selections of works by authors from William Burroughs to Will Self, Jean Genet to Dennis Cooper, Marguerite Duras to Jeannette Winterson, and Samuel Beckett to Tom Stoppard. There are letters between editors and authors, as well as retrospective essays by Grove's key publishers and editors. Organized chronologically, The Grove Press Reader is both an anthology of excellent writing and a commemoration of a spirit of independent publishing that has flourished for fifty years and will continue to thrive in the new century.