The first time Helen DeWitt disappeared was in 2000.
Her debut novel, The Last Samurai, was on the verge of becoming a publishing sensation. It would eventually sell more than 100,000 copies in English and be translated into 20 languages. People told Ms. DeWitt she was a star. Tina Brown, the owner of Talk Miramax Read More
New Directions’ 75th Anniversary celebration at Cooper Union last night began with a recorded reading of Dylan Thomas’s poem “In My Craft or Sullen Art.” The lines “I labour by singing light / Not for ambition or bread,” did seem appropriate for a publisher known for its refusal to compromise literary experimentation to commercial ends.
When Barbara Epler received the news last week that Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer had won the Nobel Prize for literature, she had one reaction: “I said, ‘Call the printers!’” she recalled.
Ms. Epler is the president of New Directions, publisher of Mr. Tranströmer’s The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems, an anthology translated by the Scottish poet Robin Fulton. For New Directions, Mr. Tranströmer’s win was big news — by Friday its book was ranked #12 on Amazon, a rarity for the independent publisher, which is known for its commitment to publishing difficult poetry and literature in translation.