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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Barry Hannah Long, Last, Happy
Long, Last, Happy

“Barry Hannah is the best fiction writer to appear in the South since Flannery O’Connor.”
Larry Mcmurtry

“Barry Hannah is an original, and one of the most consistently exciting writers of the post-Faulkner generation.”
William Styron, Salon

Click here for more on Barry Hannah and Long, Last, Happy
Forty Thieves by Thomas Perry
Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
 
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“Letters of astonishing clarity, keenness and vigor showing the author of ‘Pale Horse, Pale Rider’ as a solid critic of life and a good help to her friends.” —The New York Times Book Review
Letters of Katherine A. Porter
By Isabel Bayley
Atlantic Monthly Press
978-0-87113-453-0 • $16.95 • Paperback • June 1991
Belle Letters
Novelist, short-story writer, winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, Katherine Anne Porter is one of America’s most respected and enduring literary figures. Upon her death in 1980 at the age of ninety, she left behind thousands of letters, from which Isabel Bayley, Porter’s close friend for over twenty-five years and her literary archivist, selected the best. “The book was conceived as a whole,” Bayley explains. “The letters will carry you, if you wish to read in sequence, from point to point during her major working years, 1930 to 1963. Little bridges form from idea to idea, from theme to theme.” One of Porter’s themes was an outrage born of unfair politics, and her words are as fresh today as when they were written: “What has discouraged me,” she writes in 1957, “is simply the fact that from Mussolini on—Franco, Hitler, Tito, Peron, Batista, Trujillo, in a rapidly descending scale to Nasser, our government has without fail backed and supported, in completely criminal collusion, every foul and stinking political dictator in turn as they rise, with the hypocritical excuse that these are all ‘anti-Communist.’” And in 1947 she asks the kind of question that underlies the finest of her writing: “Man cannot—oh why can he not? This to me is the riddle of the universe—face the truth of his own motives.”

The list of Porter’s correspondents reads like a Who’s Who of twentieth-century letters: Marianne Moore, Ezra Pound, Eleanor Clark, James Stern, Cleanth Brooks, Malcolm Cowley, Allen Tate, Caroline Gordon, Josephine Herbst, Hart Crane, Monroe Wheeler, Glenway Wescott, Eudora Welty, John Malcolm Brinnin. She tells Edith Sitwel she treasures her anthology of poetry as “something to take to Heaven with me if I ever get there; or maybe to bootleg into Hell to soften the penalty of having to read the Beat Generation.” In a 1935 letter to Robert Penn Warren, one of her closest friends, she writes, “I have on hand, trying to finish it, a fairly long story which I call ‘Pale Horse and Pale Rider’ though I may find another title. What are your limits as to space for a short story?” For Porter her letters—to friends, family, publishers, editors, lovers—were vital links between the past and the present, a validation of time spent and an inspiration for the future: her twelve-page ship’s journal, written in the form of a letter on a voyage from Mexico to Germany in 1931, became the basis for Ship of Fools, completed thirty years later.

Katherine Anne Porter saw letters as continuity, a story that no longer belonged to the teller: “. . . mss. and notes and journals and letters arrived from Saratoga Springs the other day, and reading some of it over I find the past much more continuous, which I had begun to doubt. . . . Things just accumulated, and behold, it had become history . . . to be sorted and used as part of a story. I don’t know that story any more than you do, especially not the end, and we will never see it, and I think it not very important whether we do or don’t. . . . It doesn’t belong to us anyway.”

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