Thursday, April 3, 2008

Faber and Faber, often abbreviated to Faber, is an independent publishing house in the UK, notable in particular for publishing a great deal of poetry and for its former editor T. S. Eliot. Faber has a rich tradition of publishing a wide range of fiction, non fiction, drama, film and music books, as well as books for children. In 2006 the company was named Publisher of the Year.

Poetry was always to be a prime element in the Faber list and under T.S. Eliot's aegis W.H. Auden, Stephen Spender and Louis MacNeice soon joined Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Wyndham Lewis, John Gould Fletcher, Roy Campbell, James Joyce and Walter de la Mare.
Under Geoffrey Faber's chairmanship the board in 1929 included T.S. Eliot, Richard de la Mare, Charles Stewart and Frank Morley. This young and highly intelligent team built up a comprehensive and profitable catalogue which always had a distinctive physical identity and much of which is still in print. Biographies, memoirs, fiction, poetry, political and religious essays, art and architecture monographs, children's books, and a pioneering ecology list years ahead of its time, gave an unmistakable character to the productions of 24 Russell Square, the firm's Georgian offices in Bloomsbury. It also published T.S. Eliot's literary review, The Criterion.
In the Second World War, paper shortages meant profits were large, but almost all went in taxes and subsequent years were difficult. However, with recovery a new generation joined Faber, bringing in writers such as William Golding, Lawrence Durrell, Robert Lowell, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, W. S. Graham, Philip Larkin, P. D. James, Tom Stoppard and John Osborne. These last two, first published in the 1960s, represented the firm's growing commitment to modern drama, reflected in a pre-eminence that remains to the present day.

Faber and Gwyer Role in publishing
Faber and Faber has continued to prosper in recent years and is now the last of the great independent publishing houses in London. Its commitment to continuity is reflected in the depth of its backlist, whilst the frontlist goes from strength to strength. Established names have been joined by new voices including Kazuo Ishiguro, Peter Carey, Orhan Pamuk and Barbara Kingsolver, and its arts lists continue to break new talent in poetry, drama, film and music.
Faber's American arm was sold in 1998 to Farrar, Straus and Giroux, where it remains an active imprint focusing on the arts and entertainment. Having published the theatrical works of Samuel Beckett for many years, the company acquired the rights to the remainder of his oeuvre from the publishing house of John Calder in 2007.

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