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 Brooks, J. 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 Jackson, Paul 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.
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.
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.
Vice President and Publisher, Penguin Classics
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.
Vice President/Director of Marketing for Penguin Books and Penguin Classics
John Fagan is the vice president director of marketing for Penguin Books and Penguin Classics. Since joining Penguin in 2000, John has directed the marketing campaigns for many paperback bestsellers by authors including Sue Monk Kidd, Jojo Moyes, Deborah Harkness, Geraldine Brooks, John le Carré, Craig Johnson, and Phil Klay; in nonfiction, Nathaniel Philbrick, Michael Pollan, Adam Grant, Steve Coll, Ron Chernow, Joshua Foer and Daniel James Brown and originals that have become bestsellers including The Silent Wife, The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair, and Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano mysteries. John has also carried out many marketing initiatives including the re-launch of Penguin Classics, the 75th Anniversary of Penguin Books, the 75th Anniversary of the publication of Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, as well as co-branding campaigns with partners including the NBA, The Nature Conservancy, and The Union of Concerned Scientists. One of John’s main jobs is to focus on constantly mining the rich and diverse 5000 title backlist for sales opportunities. Before joining Penguin, he was at Random House for 13 years where he held a variety of sales and marketing positions. John began his publishing career as a bookseller at the University of Pittsburgh.
Director of Publicity for Penguin Books and Penguin Classics
Louise Braverman was named Director of Publicity for Penguin Books and Penguin Classics in 2014 after eight years as Associate Director of Publicity. In addition to creating and overseeing publicity campaigns for the entire Penguin Books and Penguin Classics lists, Louise has been the lead publicist in both hardcover and paperback for the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd and The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, in addition she was the publicist on multiple books by award-winning author Nathaniel Philbrick, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks, Jojo Moyes, Rafe Esquith, Garry Wills, Robert Wagner, Barbra Streisand, among others. She began her career in proofreading at Ballantine and has held editorial and publicity positions at Times Books / Random House, Rodale, Simon & Schuster, Pocket, and Atria.
Executive Editor, Penguin Classics / Senior Editor, Penguin Books
John Siciliano is executive editor, Penguin Classics, and senior editor, Penguin Books. He publishes writers from around the world—classic and contemporary, famous and forgotten and first-time—and is especially interested in literary fiction, the literary supernatural, memoir, travel, cultural history, humor, and food. His list includes the New York Times bestsellers The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker, Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, Philomena by Martin Sixsmith, and There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya; Philip Pullman’s nationally bestselling Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm; Lydia Davis’s nationally bestselling translation of Madame Bovary; the bestselling, World Fantasy Award–winning anthology My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales; the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize winners The Corpse Exhibition by Hassan Blasim and Ten White Geese by Gerbrand Bakker; and the international bestsellers The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-mi Hwang and Hector and the Search for Happiness by François Lelord. For Penguin Classics he has commissioned introductions by Lena Dunham, James Franco, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tony Kushner, Jonathan Franzen, James Wood, Colum McCann, Kelly Link, and Karl Ove Knausgaard. Before joining Penguin, he worked at Bantam, Overlook, and Vintage.
Executive Editor, Penguin Books
Meg Leder, executive editor, joined Penguin Books in 2014, after nine years at Perigee Books. She’s spent her publishing career focusing on illustrated gift books, creativity titles, and quirky nonfiction. Among the titles she’s edited are the New York Times and international bestseller Wreck This Journal, along with other projects from Keri Smith; the bestselling Lost Ocean from the illustrator dubbed the queen of coloring, Johanna Basford; and Wall Street Journal bestseller Chasers of the Light from Internet sensation Tyler Knott Gregson. Before joining Penguin Group, she worked as an editor for McGraw-Hill Trade and Writer’s Digest Books, as well as a bookseller for Joseph-Beth Books.
Editor, Penguin Books
Lindsey Schwoeri is an editor of literary fiction, narrative nonfiction and memoir at Penguin Books. She loves fiction that is transporting, tense and beautifully written; in both fiction and nonfiction, she is drawn to books with the power to both inform and move us. Titles forthcoming from her list include the debut novel-in-stories 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad; the debut thriller Under the Harrow by Michener Center graduate Flynn Berry; Multiple Choice, an inventive work of fiction by the acclaimed Chilean writer Alejandro Zambra; and Where Am I Now?, a collection of personal essays by former child star Mara Wilson. Other authors she has worked with at Viking Penguin and in her previous position at Random House include Rebecca Makkai, Krys Lee, Marisha Pessl, Karen Thompson Walker, Katherine Boo, Gail Caldwell, Robin Black, and Yiyun Li. She is a graduate of Vassar College and the Columbia Publishing Course.
Editor, Penguin Books
Sarah Stein joined Penguin Books in 2015 as an editor, after three years as an associate editor at Riverhead. She edits literary fiction and narrative nonfiction propelled by strong narrative voice and compelling storytelling. Books Sarah has forthcoming include Anna Solomon’s Leaving Lucy Pear, Georgia Hunter’s We Were the Lucky Ones, and Rachel Starnes’s The War at Home. Books Sarah has acquired and edited at Riverhead include Timothy Schaffert’s The Swan Gondola, Sarah Wildman’s Paper Love, and Caroline Zancan’s Local Girls. Alongside Riverhead’s Editor in Chief, Sarah McGrath, Sarah worked on books including Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings, Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed, Chang-rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea, and Cathy Marie Buchanan’s The Painted Girls, among others. Sarah is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and started her career at The Paris Review.
Emily Murdock Baker
Associate Editor, Penguin Books
Emily Murdock Baker is an Associate Editor at Penguin Books, where she edits a broad range of fiction and nonfiction, and also coordinates media tie-ins. Her past titles include Paul French’s New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning Midnight in Peking, Catherine Bailey’s bestselling narrative histories, Alex Marwood’s Edgar and Macavity Award-winning psychological thrillers, and Andi Teran’s Ana of California. The unifying theme of her list is other people’s secrets, whether it’s true crime, psychological thriller, or narrative history. She has also produced enhanced e-books for Antony Beevor’s D-Day and Manning Marable’s Pulitzer Prize-wining Malcolm X. After graduating from Boston University’s School of Communication with a degree in film, she began her career working in development for several film production companies, and also worked on set as a PA. Hollywood credits include Righteous Kill, Royal Pains, and The Starter Wife.
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 >
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