List of Publishers still publishing new works of 'Great Literature'
December 22, 2017 11:00 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a list of Publishing Houses / Presses around the world that seek to publish new works of 'great literature' (aka, in today's parlance, high quality 'literary fiction')

Hi friends,

It's statistically clear that people today read less great literature— and read less at length— per capita than those of the last several centuries. And so Publishers of quality literature have been diminishing over the last decades. However, there still must be a fair number left.

Since right now "culture" neither is generally thought of as, nor incorporates a widespread means of, a shared method for deciding and appreciating humanity's best creations, I'll elaborate (though if you get what I'm talking about, there's likely no need).

I'm talking about the deepest, most ambitious, formidable fiction and non-fiction— to give examples of such writers from the past, Leo Tolstoy, Jane Austen, Franz Kafka, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Henry Miller, Simone Weil, Jonathan Swift, William James, etc.

Particularly interested in ones outside the US— especially France, Germany, Russia, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Iceland, Japan, Argentina, Israel, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Italy, Spain— but US one welcome too.

No, I didn't have to a write a short philosophical discourse on the state of culture in order to ask this question. But at times I get carried away. Please humor me

Thanks for your collective assistance
posted by cotesdurhone to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
The interesting publishers of the best modern fiction are small presses. Here are a few publishing in English: Aleph Book Company, And Other Stories, Cassava Republic, Charco, City Lights, Dalkey Archive, Deep Vellum, Fitzcarraldo, Galley Beggar, Glagoslav , Hispabooks, Hoopoe, Maclehose, Melville House, New Directions, OneWorld, Parthian, Peirene, Pushkin Press, Restless Books, Seagull, Tilted Axis, Twisted Spoon
posted by TheRaven at 11:41 AM on December 22, 2017 [9 favorites]

Legend Press in the UK is publishing some great books.
posted by humph at 11:55 AM on December 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Knopf and FSG are the two I always think of here in the US.
posted by ferret branca at 12:26 PM on December 22, 2017 [4 favorites]

I came here to recommend Fitzcarraldo, and am chuffed to see that it's named in the first comment, along with my other beloved fave, Twisted Spoon.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:45 PM on December 22, 2017

Dalkey Archive Press is the first one that comes to mind for me.
posted by holmesian at 1:47 PM on December 22, 2017

This is a hard question to answer because it presumes that there's a contemporary equivalent of Tolstoy or Austen. There probably is, but we may not yet understand who it is. One of your examples, Kafka, wasn't even published in his lifetime. It's impossible to say who the Kafka of the early 21st century is, because even Kafka himself wasn't the Kafka of the early 20th century.

That said, I know what you're trying to ask. I personally don't pay much attention to publishers, but it's pretty easy to find them. Just look at the book reviews in places like the NYRB, the LRB, the TLS, etc., and soon you'll see the same names coming up. If you're looking for more cutting-edge stuff, you might try journals like n+1 or the Believer; for more conservative, Great Books-y stuff, try the New Criterion or Claremont Review. Arts & Letters Daily maintains a good list of book review sites. Look through a few and see what you find.
posted by kevinbelt at 4:15 PM on December 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

In Germany, Suhrkamp and Hanser come to mind when you‘re looking for not too avant-garde, highbrow literary publishers.
posted by The Toad at 7:30 PM on December 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Came in to say Suhrkamp, Hanser, and would add CH Beck.
posted by 15L06 at 9:06 AM on December 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh, also, I realized I needed to come back and tell you about Coach House! They're Canadian and they're publishing awesome literature.
posted by ferret branca at 8:53 PM on December 25, 2017

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