While Grove Press was founded on Grove Street in New York’s Greenwich Village in 1947, its true beginning came in 1951 when risk-taker Barney Rosset, Jr. purchased it and turned it into one of the most influential publishers of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.
Under Rosset’s guidance, Grove Press published many of the Beats, including William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg. Quickly it became the preeminent publisher of twentieth-century drama in America, publishing authors such as Samuel Beckett, Bertolt Brecht, Eugène Ionesco, David Mamet, Harold Pinter, and Tom Stoppard. Grove also introduced American audiences to some of the most noteworthy international authors of the time.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Rosset challenged the obscenity laws by publishing D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. His landmark court victories changed the American cultural landscape, and Grove Press went on to publish many literary erotic classics and works of groundbreaking gay fiction. On the political front, Grove Press published Frantz 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, Grove Press became part of Grove Weidenfeld, which later merged with Atlantic Monthly Press to form Grove Atlantic. 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.
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press was founded in 1917 in Boston (as legend has it, at the bar of the Parker House Hotel) as a book publishing imprint born out of the venerable Atlantic Monthly magazine. Over the next six decades, numerous books published by Atlantic Monthly Press became bestsellers and won Pulitzer Prizes and National Book Awards, including the bestselling titles Mutiny on the Bounty; Goodbye, Mr. Chips; Ship of Fools; Fire in the Lake; The Soul of a New Machine; and Blue Highways.
Under the leadership of new owners, the press separated from the magazine in 1986 and was established as a fully independent publishing house. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the press published the works of Raymond Carver, Ron Chernow, J. P. Donleavy, Richard Ford, Francisco Goldman, Jay McInerney, P. J. O’Rourke, Rian Malan, Jeanette Winterson, and Tobias Wolff.
Since 1993, Atlantic Monthly Press has been one of the two hardcover imprints of Grove Atlantic, publishing fiction, history, biography, and narrative nonfiction. Notable authors and titles include Sherman Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Mark Bowden’s Black Hawk Down, Candace Bushnell’s Sex and the City, George Crile’s Charlie Wilson’s War, Leif Enger’s Peace Like a River, Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain, Sheri Holman’s The Dress Lodger, and many more.
In the 1960s, Barney Rosset wanted to help bring classic Grove Press titles to a wider audience. The result of his vision was Black Cat, a new imprint that published low-priced, mass-market paperbacks of some of classics modern literature. There were Black Cat editions of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch, Hubert Selby Jr.’s Last Exit to Brooklyn, Jack Kerouac’s The Subterraneans, and many other classic Grove Press titles.
In 1984 Black Cat — as well as its distinctive, Roy Kuhlman-designed logo depicting a cat’s round face — were retired, but both were revived in 2004. Since that resurrection, numerous Black Cat titles have become bestsellers, won awards, and received major reviews and media attention.
Today, Black Cat is the original trade paperback imprint of Grove Atlantic and features cutting-edge fiction that appeals to a broad readership.
The Mysterious Press
Founded in 1975 by Otto Penzler, The Mysterious Press is all about mystery, crime, and suspense fiction. It was one of the first presses to produce well-made books with acid-free paper, full cloth bindings, and full-color dust jackets by accomplished artists. Under Penzler’s influence, The Mysterious Press was also the first publishing company to issue mystery fiction in limited, signed, slipcased editions. Among its first authors were Ross Macdonald, Isaac Asimov, Cornell Woolrich, and Robert Bloch.
For seven years, Penzler revolutionized the category of mystery fiction by himself until an entrepreneur provided funding. During this period, the imprint’s roster grew quickly to include Donald E. Westlake, Patricia Highsmith, James Ellroy, Mickey Spillane, James M. Cain, and Raymond Chandler. With distribution help from Farrar, Stratus, and Giroux, The Mysterious Press continued to thrive, and in 1984, it joined Warner Books and expanded its publishing program to include paperbacks. Quickly, The Mysterious Press was releasing more than an astounding one hundred books a year.
In 1989 Penzler sold the imprint to Warner Books and reacquired it from Hachette in 2009. As an imprint of Grove Atlantic, the current incarnation of The Mysterious Press has published works by Edgar Allan Poe Award-winning authors Thomas H. Cook, Andrew Klavan, and Thomas Perry, as well as some of today’s bestselling mystery authors including Ken Bruen, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Olen Butler, Dashiell Hammett, James Carlos Blake, John Katzenbach, and Charles McCarry.