Since its founding in 1990, Turtle Point Press has delighted readers with new fiction, poetry, memoirs, translations and rediscovered classics. In the last few years, our books were reviewed in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, Time Out, Bookforum, TLS, Poetry, Lambda Literary Review and many other distinguished journals and smartly written, strangely named literary blogs.
In Fall, 2013, Turtle Point Press published The Short Fall, a debut novel by Marek Waldorf. Jonathan Baumbach wrote, “The Short Fall is a rhetorical triumph, a novel about the presidency built architecturally on language and skyscraper sentences, an impressive, high flying debut.” Filled with lively effusions of wit and unexpected humor, this novel, driven by the voice and wordplay of a wheelchair confined narrator, is as much a Washington insider novel as it is a novel about recovery.
In the same season, we released David Trinidad’s Peyton Place: A Haiku Soap Opera. A number of poems from this collection were included in Best American Poetry 2013. Artforum named Peyton Place one of the Best Books of 2013. The book is the continuing story of Peyton Place in seventeen irrepressible and irreverent syllables — one for each prime time soapy episode.
Considerations on the Death of a Dog is a forgotten book by Jean Grenier, the much loved teacher of Albert Camus. This new mid-season release, never before available in English, is a collection of short, poignant and spiritual observations by a dog owner and philosopher whose beloved Taïaut has taken his last breath.
In Fall, 2014, we will publish a new collection of short stories by Marek Waldorf. Widow’s Dozen, less science-fiction than future shock treatment, is a mind bending, genre blending short story collection — eleven coruscating stories from a past that never was to a future too late to forestall. Subtle lives — nostalgia lit, lovingly textured — bridge the currents in catastrophe from impossible to remote to inevitable.
And in that same season we proudly release a new collection of poems by Richard Howard entitled Progressive Education. Mr. Howard pledges that this work, fresh and freehanded, is “an avouchment the more readily made since the book’s contents involve the disciplines, exemptions, vocabulary and dramatis personae&rquo; of this Pulitzer Prize winning poet’s own progressive grammar school education.
Looking back, a number of Turtle Point Press titles received special notice. Without Saying by Richard Howard was nominated for a National Book Award and Sources by Devin Johnston was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. Broken Irish by Edward J. Delaney was the Grand Prize Winner of the New England Book Festival and was the only small press novel to have been given starred reviews in all four trade magazines —Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and Library Journal. The book was on the Top Book of the Year list ofBooklist and was selected as one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by the Boston Globe. Years earlier The Deposition of Father McGreevy by Brian O'Doherty was shortlisted for a Man-Booker Prize. And more recently, Charles North’s What It Is Like: New and Selected Poems (co-published with Hanging Loose Press) was named one of the Best Books of the Year by National Public Radio. Dear Prudence: New and Selected Poems by David Trinidad, was named one of the two best poetry books of the year by BOOKLIST and was a Publishers Weeklytop ten selection.
Publishers are constantly asked to name a favorite author, the author whose work they are most proud of publishing. Although I love all the books I've published, there are two authors — polar opposites in every conceivable way — whose work represents the seriousness and the frivolity of this entire publishing enterprise — Julien Gracq and Lord Berners.
In an obituary of Julien Gracq that appeared in The Independent five years ago, James Kirkup called Gracq “the last of the great universal writers.” He concludes his essay about this mysterious, solitary man, who refused the Prix Goncourt with the following sentence, “He and his works are lessons to our expiring humanity.” Here are the works by Julien Gracq available from Turtle Point Press:
- Reading Writing — Shortlisted for the French American Translation Award, the book is a personal meditation on the links between literature and two visual arts: painting and cinema.
- The Shape Of A City (on demand from Ingram/Lightning) — A travelogue, a book of literary criticism, a work of history and a contemplation on urban design.
- King Cophetua — With a title taken from a painting by Edward Burne-Jones, this haunting novella begins with a Proustian evocation of fading youth. By the end of the story it all comes clear: this is the condition of both war and what in such times passes as love.
- The Narrow Waters — In fluid associative prose, Gracq navigates — this time in memory — the magical Evre and the terrain through which it coursed in his youth.
Lord Berners (1883-1950) was one of the most flamboyant personalities of his day. A composer, writer, painter, and eccentric ( famous for dying his pigeons into rainbow hues), he knew everyone in the world of the arts and society in the first half of the twentieth century and was the model for Lord Merlin in Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love. He was admired by Stravinsky, collaborated with Diaghilev and Gertrude Stein, and his five ballets were choreographed by Balanchine and Frederick Ashton.
Turtle Point Press is so devoted to the whimsical fiction and amusingly candid autobiographies of this colorful figure, “the very model of the minor artist” that we have posted excerpts of his works in a special drop-down section of the web site. “To delight, to charm, to entertain, such are the goals the minor artist sets himself, and, when brought off with style and verve and elegant lucidity, they are — more than sufficient — wholly admirable.” Joseph Epstein
Jonathan D. Rabinowitz