Grove Press is a hardcover and paperback imprint of Grove Atlantic, Inc. Grove Press was founded on Grove Street in New York’s Greenwich Village in 1947. But its true beginning came in 1951 when twenty-eight-year-old Barney Rossett, Jr. bought the company and turned it into one of the most influential publishers of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. From the outset, Rossett took chances: Grove published many of the Beats including William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg. In addition, Grove Press became the preeminent publisher of twentieth-century drama in America, publishing the work of Samuel Beckett (Nobel Prize for Literature 1969), Bertold Brecht, Eugene Ionesco, David Mamet (Pulitzer Prize for Drama 1984), Harold Pinter (Nobel Prize for Literature 2005), Tom Stoppard, and many more. The press also introduced to American audiences the work of international authors such as Jorge Luis Borges, Mikhail Bulgakov, Marguerite Duras, Jean Genet, Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz (Nobel Prize for Literature 1990), Kenzaburo Oe (Nobel Prize for Literature 1994), Elfriede Jelinek (Nobel Prize for Literature 2004), Alain Robbe-Grillet, and Juan Rulfo. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Barney Rossett challenged the obscenity laws by publishing D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover and then Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. His landmark court victories changed the American cultural landscape. Grove Press went on to publish literary erotic classics like The Story of O and ground-breaking gay fiction like John Rechy’s City of Night, as well as the works of the Marquis de Sade. On the political front, Grove Press published classics that include Franz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and Che Guevara’s The Bolivian Diary, among many other titles. In 1986, Barney Rosset sold the company and the press became part of Grove Weidenfeld. In 1993 that company was merged with Atlantic Monthly Press to form Grove Atlantic, Inc.

Since 1993, Grove Press has been both a hardcover and paperback imprint of Grove Atlantic publishing fiction, drama, poetry, literature in translation, and general nonfiction. Authors and titles include Jon Lee Anderson’s Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life, Robert Olen Butler’s A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain (Pulitzer Prize for Literature 1993), Kiran Desai’s Inheritance of Loss (Man Booker Prize 2006), Richard Flanagan’s Gould’s Book of Fish (Commonwealth Prize 2002), Ismail Kadare’s The Siege, Jerzy Kosinski’s Steps (National Book Award 1969), Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls, Nick McDonell’s Twelve, Catherine Millet’s The Sexual Life of Catherine M., Pascal Mercier’s Night Train to Lisbon, Kay Ryan (Poet Laureate of the United States 2008/9) as well as Antonio Lobo Antunes, Will Self, Barry Hannah, Terry Southern, and many others.

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Young Skins by Colin Barrett
Young Skins


Winner of the 2014 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award


“A stunning debut . . . The timeless nature of each story means this collection can—and will—be read many years from now.” —Sunday Times

“Exciting and stylistically adventurous.” —Colm Toibín
Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
 
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“A delightful discourse on an extraordinarily full life: Rogers succeeds in capturing the spirit of a philosophical maverick who many loved to hate.”—Kirkus Reviews
A.J. Ayer
A Life
By Ben Rogers
Grove Press
978-0-8021-3869-9 • $18.50 • Paperback • Feb. 2002
Biography
A.J. Ayer (1910-1989) was a man of startling complexity: an exceptionally rigorous and penetrating philosopher, he was also an ardent sports fan, dancer, and seducer. He traveled in the most glamorous social circles, yet his friends found him oddly remote. A brilliant, strangely vulnerable man, Ayer comes vividly to life in this acclaimed biography.

An analytic philosopher in the tradition of Bertrand Russell and G.E. Moore, Ayer was a leading exponent of Logical Positivism. Attacking the view that philosophy had anything to teach us about the nature of the universe or how to live, he sought to liberate life from the shackles of traditional metaphysics. This approach challenged many fundamental beliefs of his fellow philosophers, and Ayer’s dogged and eloquent articulation of his views earned him many enemies even as he succeeded in changing the course of British philosophy. Ben Rogers provides a clear and accessible account of Ayer’s philosophical writings and assesses their significance to twentieth-century philosophy.

Rogers also offers fascinating insights into the links between Ayer’s philosophy and his life. He guides us through the young philosopher’s troubled years at Eton, using Ayer’s experience there to create an indelible portrait of England’s upper classes during the twilight years of Victorian privilege. He takes us to Oxford, where Ayer astounded his tutors with his acumen and iconoclastic zeal, and where he befriended Isaiah Berlin, Ludwig Wittgenstein, e.e. cummings, and other great thinkers and writers of the era.

Ayer was only twenty-four when he wrote his most influential book, Language, Truth and Logic. Its success catapulted him into the public eye, where he reveled for decades as an intellectual, political campaigner, and socialite. He was married four times (but to three women) and had countless affairs.

Yet despite his social charms and appetite for life, Ayer, half French-Swiss and half Dutch-Jewish, remained something of an outsider, and many who knew him well considered him melancholy and oddly shallow. Rogers explores his complicated and often contradictory personality with a sympathetic eye. Succeeding as both a personal portrait and a rigorous philosophical assessment, A.J. Ayer is a powerful biography of a provocative thinker and unforgettable man.

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