Penguin Books



In the early 1930’s, most publishers thought the market for quality books was limited to a handful of elite readers. Allen Lane, then managing director of the Bodley Head, a British publishing company, had other ideas. While searching for something to read on his trip back to London after visiting Agatha Christie—and only finding popular magazines and reprints of Victorian novels in the railway station kiosk—he was convinced that there was a need for moderately priced editions of good-quality contemporary writing.

Setting up his business in the crypt of London’s Trinity Church, he began to reprint quality fiction and nonfiction in low-cost paperback editions. In July 1935, he revolutionized publishing with the introduction of the first ten Penguin paperbacks. Within a year, more than one hundred titles were in print and one million Penguin books had been sold. In 1946, Allen Lane published classical scholar E.V. Rieu‘s translation of The Odyssey which went on to sell three million copies worldwide. That was the beginning of the Penguin Classics. Lane then asked Rieu to commission translations of other works for the new series. Little did Lane realize the impact his “paperback revolution” had on reading—today, almost 80 years later, more than 600 million paperbacks are sold annually worldwide. Now Penguin and Penguin Classics trade paperbacks and eBooks carry the most recognized logo of any book publisher in the world, with a list as stimulating and diverse as readers themselves.

Covering such subjects as literature, biography, memoir, history, science, business, psychology, popular reference, poetry and self-help, the Penguin list now has more than 3,000 books in print in the United States.

Penguin has long been committed to publishing great fiction and poetry, including the work of Nobel laureates, National Book Award winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, Man Booker winners, and bestselling authors. Chris Abani, Sebastian Barry, T. C. Boyle, Geraldine BrooksJ. M. Coetzee, Carl Dennis, Joel Dicker, Rita Dove, Kim Edwards, Jasper Fforde, Magnus Flyte, Tana French, Nadine Gordimer, Sophie Hannah, A.S.A Harrison, Deborah Harkness, Terrence Hayes, Sun-Mi Hwang, Jan Karon, Garrison Keillor, William Kennedy, Jack Kerouac, Philip Kerr, Ken Kesey, Sue Monk Kidd, John le Carré, Janice Y. K. Lee, Drew Magary, Adrian Matejka, Arthur Miller, Jojo Moyes, Robin Oliveira, Stewart O’Nan, Ruth Ozeki, Katherine Pancol, Thomas Pynchon, Ann Ross, Zadie Smith, Wallace Stegner, John Steinbeck, Amy Tan, Amor Towles, William Trevor, William Vollmann, David Foster Wallace, and Carlos Ruiz Zafón are only a few of the writers whose work is published by Penguin.

On the nonfiction side, Penguin publishes many such knowledgeable and wonderful writers as Liaquat Ahamed, David Allen, John M. Barry, Antony Beevor, John Berendt, Alan Blinder, Daniel James Brown, David Byrne, Novella Carpenter, Rosanne Cash, Ron Chernow, Amy Chua, Alexa Chung, Steve Coll, Matthew Crawford, Jared Diamond, Norman Doidge, Niall Ferguson, Zlata Filipovic, Roger Fisher, Joshua Foer, Paul French, Elizabeth Gilbert, Adam Grant, Paul Greenberg, Robert Greene, Alan Greenspan, Linda Greenlaw, Phil JacksonPaul Johnson, Tony Judt, Mary Karr, John Keegan, Maria Konnikova, Mark Kurlansky, Ray Kurzweil, Aung San Suu Kyi , David Laskin, Charlie LeDuff, Diarmaid MacCulloch, Robert MacFarlane, Manning Marable, Dan Morrison, David Nasaw, Nathaniel Philbrick, Steven Pinker, Michael Pollan, Vicki Robin, Sir Ken Robinson, Nouriel Roubini, Arundhati Roy, Eric Schlosser, Leslie Marmon Silko, Martin Sixsmith, Rebecca Solnit, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Jonathan Spence, Amy Tan, Lewis Thomas, Krista Tippett, Jim Trelease, Scott Turow, Sudhir Venkatesh, Garry Wills, Daniel Yergin and many other great writers.

Penguin Mysteries are a select and diverse group of titles that round out the Penguin list with stellar domestic and international bestsellers including works by Nancy Atherton, Andrea Camilleri, Craig Johnson, Donna Leon, M.L. Longworth, C.J. Sansom, Georges Simenon and Fred Vargas.


Because What You Read Matters: Penguin Classics

For almost 70 years, Penguin has been the leading Classics publisher in the English-speaking world, providing readers with a global bookshelf of the best works from around the world and across history, genres, and disciplines. We focus on bringing together the best of the past and the future, using cutting edge design and production as well as embracing the digital age to create unforgettable editions of treasured literature. Penguin Classics is timeless and trend-setting. Whether you love our familiar black spine series, our Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions, or our Penguin Amplified eBook Classics, we bring the writer to the reader in every format available.

The Penguin Classics series comprises more than 1600 titles, making it the largest publisher of ancient and modern classic literature in the English-speaking world. The Classics list includes a vast array of fiction, nonfiction, drama and poetry based on definitive texts and introduced by experts, and many magnificent translations including Robert Fagles‘ translations of Homer and Virgil, Pevear and Volokhonsky‘s award-winning translation of Tolstoy‘s Anna Karenina, Lydia Davis‘s monumental translations of Proust‘s Swann’s Way and Flaubert‘s Madame Bovary, Tiina Nunnally’s translation of Undset’s 3 volume epic Kristin Lavransdatter, Edith Grossman’s acclaimed translation of Gongora’s The Solitudes and most recently Maureen Freely and Alexander Dawe’s translation of Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar’s The Time Regulation Institute.

Penguin Classics is also the publisher of modern authors such as John Steinbeck, Saul Bellow, Arthur Miller, Graham Greene, Jack Kerouac, Ken Kesey, Wallace Stegner, John O’Hara, Shirley Jackson, Dorothy Parker, Bruce Chatwin, Robertson Davies, Leslie Marmon Silko and Iris Murdoch. Included in the series are the Penguin Classics Portables and the Penguin Classics Deluxe editions including those featuring cover art by such renowned graphic artists and illustrators as Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware, Roz Chast, Frank Miller, Audrey Niffenegger, Tony Millionaire, Seth, Jillian Tamaki and Rachell Sumpter. Most recently, Penguin Classics published Penguin Drop Caps, an A-Z series of 26 collectible hardcover editions of fine works of literature, each featuring custom-lettered cover art by type designer Jessica Hische in a design collaboration between Jessica Hische and Penguin art director Paul Buckley.

The Penguin and Penguin Classics list continues to grow, to embrace new writers, and to keep in print the works of some of the world’s most important authors. Readers’ needs and tastes change, and the Penguin list has evolved to meet those changes for almost 80 years. With its familiar logo that stands for quality and distinction, the Penguin also represents what is fresh, contemporary and bestselling in paperbacks and eBooks.

Meet Penguin

Kathryn Court

President and Publisher

Kathryn Court joined Penguin Books in 1977 and became Editorial Director two years later. In 1984 she was named Editor in Chief of Viking Penguin and in 1992 Senior Vice-President, Publisher, and Editor in Chief of Penguin Books. She was named President of Penguin Books in August 2000. Among the authors she has worked with are Chris Abani, Rennie Airth, Reinaldo Arenas, Sebastian Barry, Antony Beevor, Andrea Camilleri, Alexa Chung, J.M. Coetzee, Slavenka Drakulic, David Esterly, Robert Fagles, Blaine Harden, Craig Johnson, Garrison Keillor, Sheila Kohler, David Laskin, John le Carré, Janice Y.K. Lee, Krys Lee, Simon Lelic, Charlie Lovett, Diarmaid MacCulloch, Keith McCafferty, M. J. McGrath, Rebecca Makkai, John Mortimer, Robin Oliveira, Linda Olsson, Grayson Perry, Vicki Robin, Sir Ken Robinson, Richard Rodriguez, C.J. Sansom, Dava Sobel, Jim Trelease, William Trevor, Fred Vargas, Mo Yan and Tom Zoellner.

Patrick Nolan

Patrick Nolan

Vice President, Editor in Chief & Associate Publisher

Patrick Nolan joined Penguin Books as Associate Publisher and Editor in Chief in 2012 after serving for twelve years as Trade Paperback Sales Director for Penguin Group. Now overseeing the editorial direction and shape of Penguin Books’ publishing program, his list of current and forthcoming authors includes Matthias Hollwich (New Aging), Matt Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive), Daniel Klein (Travels with Epicurus), Chris Anderson and David Sally (The Numbers Game), Ben Lyttleton (Twelve Yards), Alex Gilvarry (One of the National Book Foundation’s 5 under 35), Robbie Rogers (Coming Out to Play), Kathleen Flinn (Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good), and Mario Giordano (1000 Feelings for Which There are No Names). In his previous role as Sales Director he contributed to such long-running bestsellers as Eat, Pray, Love; The Omnivore’s Dilemma; The Secret Life of Bees; The Kite Runner; and The Help. He also served five years as Marketing Director of Perigee and has been Associate Publisher of Riverhead Books and Trade Paperback Marketing Director for Portfolio and Sentinel. Before coming to Penguin Group, Patrick was Sales Director for Disney/Hyperion and worked at Houghton Mifflin and Waterstones Booksellers.

Elda Rotor

Elda Rotor

Associate Publisher and Editorial Director

Elda Rotor joined Penguin Classics as Executive Editor in 2006 and became Editorial Director in 2008. In 2011 she was also named Associate Publisher. Before Penguin, she was Senior Editor at Oxford University Press. She oversees the U.S. program for Penguin Classics. She created and edited several series, including Penguin Drop Caps, Penguin Horror, Penguin Civic Classics, Penguin Threads and the Couture Classics. Among the estates she has worked with are John Steinbeck, Dorothy Parker, and Shirley Jackson. The works she has edited include The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth Century American Poetry edited by Rita Dove, The Penguin Guide to the U.S. Constitution by Richard Beeman, The Inaugural Address by Barack Obama, Lincoln on the Civil War, and Titanic: First Accounts. She edited and produced the Penguin Classics app Poems by Heart, chosen by Apple as one of the Best Apps of 2013.

Penguin Newsroom

October 14, 2015

Saturday, October 17, 2015 marks the centennial of the birth of perhaps the greatest American playwright of the 20th Century, Arthur Miller.To celebrate this occasion, Penguin Classics published The Penguin Arthur Miller: Collected Plays (Penguin Classics) on Tuesday (10/13). USA Today ran a feature on the book as well as Arthur Miller’s legacy and Symphony […]

Read more >

Edgar Award-winning author Alex Marwood won a Macavity Award in the category of Best Mystery Novel for The Killer Next Door (Penguin Books, 10/28/14). Members of Mystery Readers International nominate and vote for the Macavity Awards, which were presented at this year’s Bouchercon on October 8. The Killer Next Door, which follows a group of neighbors from […]

Read more >

The 2015 National Book Awards finalists were announced this week and two books published by the Penguin Publishing Group are in the running for prizes.  Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (Riverhead Books) is on the Fiction shortlist. How to be Drawn by Terrance Hayes (Penguin Books) is a finalist in the Poetry category.  He won the National Book […]

Read more >

New Releases

Mark Greengrass
Stephen Kotkin


Craig Johnson
Phil Klay
Michael Pollan

Coming Soon

Helene Gremillon
Giambattista Basile
Illustrator: Carmelo Lettere

Award Winners

Daniel Yergin
Ceridwen Dovey
Robin Wright

Connect With Penguin

Penguin Paperbacks
White Rabbits, LLC is running a giveaway for Johanna Basford's LOST OCEAN! See their post for details. 21 hours ago

Penguin Paperbacks
Here’s the Week 5 question in author Nathaniel Philbrick's In the Heart of the Sea Trivia Contest! Submit your answer here... 21 hours ago

Penguin Paperbacks
Watch Entertainment Weekly's exclusive featurette on "The Myth of Moby-Dick": 6 days ago

Follow us on Facebook

RT @johannabasford: A little Monday Lost Ocean trivia for you! Go on, impress someone today with your fishy facts!…... 15 hours ago

RT @natphilbrick: I was interviewed recently for the #WalkingthePlank feature in the December issue of @SoundingsOnline... 15 hours ago

RT @pronounced_ing: Delighted to announce a Boston event 1/7/16: 7:30 @ArlReads w/ @MarjanKamali @writerhenriette and a... 15 hours ago