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, and together with editors Fred Jordan, Richard Seaver, and others, Grove Press published many of the Beats, including William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg. Grove soon became the preeminent publisher of twentieth-century drama in America, publishing playwrights including Bertolt Brecht, Eugène Ionesco, Harold Pinter, and Tom Stoppard.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Rosset challenged United States obscenity law by publishing D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, and William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch. 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, including The Story of O, John Rechy’s City of Night, and the works of Jean Genet. Grove Press also developed a reputation for publishing political works, including Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and Che Guevara’s Bolivian Diary, among other titles. Grove also introduced American audiences to some of the most noteworthy international authors of the time, including Nobel Prize winners Samuel Beckett, Octavio Paz, Pablo Neruda, and Kenzaburo Oe.
In 1985, 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.
Notable titles published under the Grove Press imprint include Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House, Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss, Richard Flanagan’s Gould’s Book of Fish, Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk, Pascal Mercier’s Night Train to Lisbon, Catherine Millet’s The Sexual Life of Catherine M., Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer, Kay Ryan’s The Best of It, Douglas Stuart’s Shuggie Bain, and Jeanette Winterson’s Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?.
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.
After merging with Grove Press in 1993 to form Grove Atlantic, Atlantic Monthly Press has continued as an imprint, publishing notable titles that 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, Aminatta Forna’s The Devil That Danced on the Water, Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain, Jim Harrison’s The Road Home, Lily King’s Euphoria, the Brunetti series by Donna Leon, and Karl Marlantes’s Matterhorn.
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 classics of 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 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 imprint and logo were revived in 2004. Today, Black Cat is the trade paperback original imprint of Grove Atlantic, publishing both fiction and nonfiction. Black Cat titles have won major awards including the Booker Prize, the IMPAC/International Dublin Literary Award, the Barnes & Noble Discover Award, and the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Notable titles published under the Black Cat imprint include Kim Echlin’s The Disappeared; Anne Enright’s The Gathering; Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other; Roxane Gay’s An Untamed State; Caleb Azumah Nelson’s Open Water; Sofi Oksanen’s Purge; Melissa P.’s 100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed; Michael Thomas’s Man Gone Down; and Kathleen Winter’s Annabel.
Roxane Gay Books
Announced in May 2021, Roxane Gay Books will publish three works of fiction or nonfiction per year, acquired and edited by Roxane Gay. Watch this space for more announcements.
Grove Press UK
Grove Atlantic’s London-based imprint, Grove Press UK, was founded in 2010. The production, publishing, and sales of Grove Press UK titles are handled by Atlantic Books. Notable titles published on the Grove Press UK list include Mark Bowden’s The Finish, Scotty Bowers’s Full Service, Lisa Brennan-Jobs’s Small Fry, Charmaine Craig’s Miss Burma, the novels of John Lawton, Eileen Myles’s Afterglow, and Madhuri Vijay’s The Far Field. For more information, see https://atlantic-books.co.uk/grove-press.
The Mysterious Press
From 2011 to 2020, The Mysterious Press was an imprint of Grove Atlantic. Founded in 1975 by Otto Penzler, The Mysterious Press was the first publishing company to issue mystery fiction in limited, signed, slipcased editions. Among its early authors were Ross Macdonald and Isaac Asimov. As an imprint of Grove Atlantic, The Mysterious Press published works by Thomas H. Cook, Thomas Perry, Ken Bruen, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Olen Butler, Dashiell Hammett, James Carlos Blake, Michael Kardos, and Charles McCarry, in both hardcover and paperback.
Otto Penzler continues to publish mystery fiction under the Penzler Publishers imprints, distributed by W. W. Norton. For more information, see https://penzlerpublishers.com.