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Favorite Presses > MacLehose Press

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message 1: by WndyJW (last edited May 07, 2018 04:42PM) (new)

WndyJW | 6569 comments I chanced upon a book that piqued my interest and being a conscientious book buyer I first looked for the publisher. MacLehose Press are the publishers of Vernon Subutex, 1 and other translated works, the first of which was by Stieg Larsson.

message 2: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 344 comments This looks great--thanks for posting!

message 3: by Paul (last edited May 07, 2018 10:49PM) (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 10552 comments Certainly a strong press.

Only thing is that nowadays MacLehose is an imprint of Quercus, which in turn was once an independent press, but which is now owned by the rather large Hodder & Stoughton, part of Hachette.

So nowadays it is more an imprint/brand than a genuinely independent press. Not that that particularly matters to the quality of what they produce.

And the eponymous Christopher MacLehose used to run Harvill which was the blazing star of bringing translated fiction to the English reader in the mid 80s to mid 00s. But then it was brought by Random House and half killed off.

message 4: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Pool Half killed off, Paul?

message 5: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3589 comments Mod
It is still quite a distinctive brand and their literary list is quite impressive..

message 6: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 10552 comments Jonathan wrote: "Half killed off, Paul?"

OK completely! Not really sure what even happened though without digging too much into it - but if I think of my early forays into translated fiction, pretty much everything seemed to be Harvill.

Bit odd why someone would take over a brand and then kill it. But I guess that is why I get a little worried when history repeats itself and the next independent (Quercus) also gets taken over.

message 7: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3589 comments Mod
The MacLehose spine design is quite reminiscent of the Harvill one, and I am sure that was a deliberate choice. In addition to Despentes, the ones I remember reading relatively recently include Andrei Makine and Cees Nooteboom, and I think at least one Modiano. There is quite a lot of translated crime fiction on the list too - I guess that is where the profits are.

message 8: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 10552 comments Worth a read

"Ah yes, Stieg Larsson," he smiles. "It is a shaming and shocking story." Around the time MacLehose was setting up his eponymously named press, after extricating himself from an unhappy period working within the corporate behemoth Random House, a Stockholm publisher brought to his home "two very large, and very battered typescripts and told me another was on its way soon. They then asked if I would be really, really kind and read this thing that they thought was very good, but absolutely nobody else in the English-speaking world agreed. It was by Stieg Larsson."

message 9: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 10552 comments and

"After a period of success, and MacLehose leading a management buyout in 1995, by 2002 the company was in financial difficulty and was taken into the Random House empire. For MacLehose it was not a happy experience. "The promises of total editorial freedom – every one of them – were overlooked.""

But NB this article was written in 2012 while Quercus / MacLehose were still independent

message 10: by Robert (new)

Robert | 2261 comments Like Paul my first foray into translated fiction was via harvill: I still have my copies of Murakami's The Elephant vanishes, silk by Baricco and Lampedusa's The Leopard

message 11: by WndyJW (last edited May 08, 2018 07:56AM) (new)

WndyJW | 6569 comments I did notice that they claim to be “independently minded,” not an independent press, but they had a promising catalogue of translated fiction. I ordered The Life of Rebecca Jones The Life of Rebecca Jones by Angharad Price by Angharad Price.

I think most of my recent purchases have been found on the sites of indie presses.

message 12: by Declan (new)

Declan | 189 comments Paul wrote: "and

"After a period of success, and MacLehose leading a management buyout in 1995, by 2002 the company was in financial difficulty and was taken into the Random House empire. For MacLehose it was..."

Harvill was a hugely important publisher for me too when I was first curious about writers from around the world. Perec, Andric, Magris, Saramago and so many others, especially Russian writers. They also published a Korean author when nobody else was doing it: The Poet by Yi Mun-Yol (his novel Son of Man was published by Dalkey more recently). The design of the books was very appealing too. I still have about a hundred of them.

message 13: by Paul (last edited May 08, 2018 03:04PM) (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 10552 comments I had forgotten they did Yi Mun-yol - my favourite male Korean author - The Poet is excellent and The Son of Man quite brilliant.

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