The founders of Alma Books have expressed “shock and dismay” at the "apparent rejection of European values" which has accompanied Britain’s decision to exit Europe, saying that the prospect of the UK closing its borders to the continent is not one they "find easy to countenance".
In a letter to Alma Books "supporters", Italian founders and publishers Alessandro Gallenzi and Elisabetta Minervini expressed concern about the current "political turmoil" resulting from the EU referendum. The pair said: "It is here [in the UK] that we have made our home first as European expatriates and then as British citizens, and it is here that we have strived to establish a business with cross-cultural co-operation at its heart."
“Our work as publishers over the last fifteen years has always been focused on bringing the best of European culture into the English language, and this has allowed us to connect with a network of translators, writers and artists throughout Europe who have enriched our lives, and that of our readers, in ways too innumerable to list."
The letter added: "The books that we – and the many other UK publishers who focus on literature in translation – produce have hopefully had the same enriching effect on the English-speaking reading public."
The letter concluded: “We are committed to maintaining our pursuit of cross-cultural literary endeavour and to celebrating the best of European literature, whatever the outcome of the current political wrangling, and we hope you share this commitment.”
Fellow independent publisher Influx Press last week called for publishers and writers to rally together to protect and fight for the “cosmopolitan, heterogeneous and inclusive future of the UK” following the vote to leave.