Fine editions publisher Little Island Press is to launch its 2017 list with fiction from Gordon Lish, touted as “one of America’s greatest men of letters” by Little Island founder and m.d. Andrew Latimer. Lish has a reputation as the captain of experimental fiction in the US: the author of more than a dozen novels and “infamous” editor to Raymond Carver, Anne Carson and Don DeLillo, among others. His new novel, White Plains, will be published in June 2017.
White Plains interweaves the actual past and the remembered past in a series of “exquisitely crafted”, interlinked fictions on themes of life, love and literature. It is the lead title in an “unashamedly adventurous” 2017 list.
July will see the publication of Extravagant Stranger, a memoir in prose and poetry by former diplomat, actor and theatre director Daniel Roy Connelly, described by author and poet Luke Kennard as a collection
of “glowing, moving prose poems of hallucinatory intensity”.
Russell Person’s début, The Way of Florida (August), retells the story of the failed 16th century Narváez expedition to the Gulf of Mexico, and it has advance praise from Lish himself. In October Little Island will reissue Jason Schwartz’s début A German Picturesque, a collection of 21 stories that are an “exhilarating” experiment in language and form. The title was originally published in 1998 by Alfred A Knopf.
The press has also signed a short-story collection from David Hayden, Reaktion Books m.d. and former publishing director at The Folio Society. Darker with the Lights On: Stories will be published in September.
Each title will be published as a “handsome hardback”, Latimer said. “After launching the press only last year, we’re honoured to be opening our 2017 list with this big-hitter of American fiction: White Plains is packed full of Lish’s characteristic humour, hubris and indefatigable humanity. It sets a pretty high bar, but the other, younger writers on the list—some of whom have studied with Lish— will not disappoint.”
Established in June 2016, the press started out publishing poetry and this list will mark its first foray into fiction. Latimer said: “With the addition of fiction to our portfolio, this year looks to be a very exciting one for Little Island Press, but we remain true to our founding commitment, that of publishing innovative writing in elegant editions.”