I’ve been searching for a paperback edition of Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville for a while, when recently I found it on the shelves of Hatchard’s, in London. Published by Melville House – as if it was meant to be!
To my surprise, I had never heard of Melville House before (and I’ve haunting book stores for quite some time…), so I was really excited to discover their catalogue. Famous authors, rarely published stories (or hard to find by itself), a simple and appealing design: everything one could ask from an independent publisher!
A response to the 9/11 attacks
Based in Brooklyn and with offices in London, Melville House was founded in 2001 by sculptor Valeria Merians and writer/journalist Dennis Johnson. They launched the publishing house as they wanted publish a first book, now a best-seller, Poetry after 9/11, which is an anthology with pieces of poetry and writings from many artists, as a reaction to the twin towers attack. Melville House has since then published any books, from contemporary non-fiction to forgotten classics.
The Art of the Novella Series
The books I’m presenting here are part of the Art of the Novella series. Novellas are stories ‘too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story’. Melville House decided they deserve as much attention as other literary genres. They’ve edited a list of 56 titles, including those you can see here: Herman Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s May Day and Virginia Woolf’s Jacob’s Room.
Other nice and visual series from Melville House are The Last Interview (recording the last interview of authors and celebrities), and the Neversink Library (publishing ignored pieces worth their salt).
Have you discovered amazing titles thanks to Melville House? Are you a amateur of the Art of the Novella series? Don’t hesitate to share your feedback with us!