Author(s): Toby Faber
To celebrate its 90th anniversary, here is the untold story behind one of one of the world's most iconic publishing houses.
Faber and Faber is one of the world's greatest independent publishers. Literary superstars like T.S.Eliot, William Golding, Ted Hughes, and Sylvia Plath are synonymous with the name "Faber", as are the leafy squares of twentieth-century Bloomsbury. But what is the real tale behind the house that brought together these authors? And how did a tiny firm set up by two men in 1925 - weathering obstacles from wartime paper shortages to dramatic financial crashes - survive to this very day?
Toby Faber has grown up with these stories, and uses a range of humorous and surprising sources to tell the history of the publisher in its own words. Drawing on material from memos to board minutes and unpublished memoirs, Faber takes us deep inside the evolution of the company: and along the way, we meet a cast of colorful characters that are stranger than fiction, whether poets or novelists, managers or editors.
Decade by decade, Faber's portrait of one company's history becomes not only that of an entire century, but a hymn to the role of the arts in public life. Itshows us how publishing can shift a nation's cultural conversation - and speaks directly to the way we engage with literature today.