a Penguin Evolution posterThe evolution of Penguin Books over the past 75 years has been extraordinary. In 1935, the world was cast into a global economic downturn and The Dust Bowl had laid waste to a huge swath of American and Canadian prairies. Across the Atlantic, Adolf Hitler announced German re-armament, thus setting the stage for another bloody world war. But this was also the year in which one man had a vision that would change publishing forever.

Allen Lane had the revolutionary idea to offer affordable, quality paperback books through outlets like railway stations and newsagents as well as bookshops. He wanted to make good books as accessible and cheap to procure as a pack of cigarettes at a kiosk. Lane launched his new line of books on July 30, 1935, with ten inexpensive paperbacks. Simply designed with broad bands of color, the original ten books immediately established themselves within the history of design. Skeptics dismissed Lane's idea as imprudent and crazy, but by March 1936—ten months after the company's launch—one million Penguin books had been printed. Within a year, Penguin had sold three million paperbacks. The skeptics were proven wrong and a new, innovative publishing model was launched into the world.

This summer, the Penguin Anniversary-mobile (a Penguin-orange Mini-Cooper with the Penguin logo) will be touring the United States to celebrate Penguin's 75th anniversary, increase awareness of The Nature Conservancy, and promote literacy. a Penguin-orange Mini-Cooper with the Penguin logoIt will be appearing at bookstores across the country and bringing some of Penguin's well-known authors to anniversary parties at bookstores in their hometowns. Starting with Garrison Keillor (Lake Wobegon Days) in Edina, Minnesota, on June 13, and ending with Melissa Bank (The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing) on Long Island on August 7, this summer will be a nonstop celebration of literacy, conservation, and Penguin Books. Other bestselling authors hosting parties include Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees), Jan Karon (the Mitford series), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma), Geraldine Brooks (March), Kim Edwards (The Memory Keeper's Daughter), Janice Y. K. Lee (The Piano Teacher), William Kennedy (Ironweed), and Nathaniel Philbrick (In the Heart of the Sea). The full schedule is listed below.

At each anniversary event, a set of 75 of the most iconic titles from Penguin Books will be donated to a local library or literacy group. Each author will sign the Penguin-mobile as it makes its way across the United States, and the summer's events will culminate with a party at the New York Public Library in September. When the celebration is complete Penguin will auction the car with the proceeds going to the New York Public Library. Penguin will also be donating sets of 75 books to numerous U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As part of the anniversary celebration Penguin is proud to support The Nature Conservancy and their "Plant a Billion Trees Campaign." Penguin Books was an original supporter of the campaign at its inception in 2008. So far, more than 5.5 million trees have been planted in Brazil's Atlantic Forest.

In 1935, Penguin Books were published only in the U.K. Now they're published globally in the United States, U.K., Canada, South Africa, India, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, China, and Korea. Penguin Books authors have won 25 Nobel Prizes, 18 National Book Awards, and 12 Pulitzer Prizes. Penguin Books is the flagship imprint of Penguin Group (USA) and includes Penguin Classics, the largest and most comprehensive list of English language classics published in the world. And now in 2010, Penguin Books—which publishes more than 300 books per year in the United States and has more than 3,600 Penguin Books and 1,500 Penguin Classics in print—is thrilled to be celebrating its 75th birthday.

Kathryn Court, President and Publisher of Penguin Books, Elda Rotor, Editorial Director for Penguin Classics, and Stephen Morrison, Editor in Chief of Penguin Books, are available for interviews.

Visit for event information, anniversary book features, timeline, anniversary video, and much, much more.

One dollar, One Tree, One Planet

Anniversary Parties

Garrison Keillor Edina, MN Barnes & Noble June 13 / 2:00 PM
William Kennedy Albany, NY Book House June 19 / 4:00 PM
Sue Monk Kidd Charleston, SC Blue Bicycle Books June 22 / 4:00 PM
Kim Edwards Lexington, KY Joseph-Beth June 24 / 6:00 PM
Michael Pollan Berkeley, CA Books Inc. June 28 / 7:00 PM
Janice Y.K. Lee New York, NY Barnes & Noble (86th & Lex) July 12 / 7:00 PM
Jan Karon Charlottesville, VA New Dominion Bookshop July 21 / 4:00 PM
Geraldine Brooks Martha's Vineyard Bunch Of Grapes August 2 / 7:00 PM
Nathaniel Philbrick Nantucket, MA Atheneum,
Hosted By Mitchell's Books
August 5 / 4:00 PM
Melissa Bank East Hampton, NY Bookhampton August 7 / 8:00 PM

Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children's trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Berkley Books, Dutton, Frederick Warne, G.P. Putnam's Sons, Grosset & Dunlap, New American Library, Penguin, Philomel, Riverhead Books, and Viking among others. The Penguin Group is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.



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