Faber & Faber: The Untold Story
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This is the story of one of the world’s great publishers told in its own words. Drawing on a wealth of previously unpublished letters, minutes, memoirs and diaries, Toby Faber takes us deep inside the evolution of the company and the excitement, hopes and fears of the people who published and wrote the books that line our shelves today.
Highlights include Eliot’s magnificent reader reports, Beckett on swearing and censorship, the publication of Finnegan’s Wake, the rejection of Orwell’s Animal Farm, P.D. James tasting her first avocado, the first reader’s response to Heaney’s Death of a Naturalist, Larkin’s reluctance to attend poetry readings (‘people’s imaginary picture of you is always so much more flattering than the reality’), the discovery of Kazuo Ishiguro, and some sticky negotiations over book titles.
In the background, the publisher battles the Great Depression, wartime paper shortages and dramatic financial crises to retain its independence. The result is both a vibrant history and a hymn to the role of literature in all our lives.
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