Thursday, 2 December 2010


A new publishing house I just discovered is Dorothy (not Dorothy Press, just Dorothy). They have just released their forst two titles. One is by a writer new to me, Renee Gladman. The other is a reprint of one of the great Barbara Comyns's best novels, Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead. This is a book well overdue for resurrection--I have most of Comyns's work in tatty old Virago paperbacks, but only a few of her books are currently in print. If you'd like to read a book which features a flood, a "crazy bread" plague of suicides, some seriously black comedy, and a child's viewpoint that is both peculiar and thoroughly convincing, this is the book for you.

Dorothy is run by one Danielle Dutton, who is also the book designer at Dalkey Archive. Most of the covers there feature illustrations by Dutton or Nicholas Motte, with typography by Dutton. See some of their great work here. It's no surprise, then, that the first two Dorothy books have similarly attractive covers, though only the Gladman seems particularly Dalkey-esque.

Cover art by Yelena Bryksenkova (more info here)

Cover art by Gisela Insuaste (more info here)

There's a lot to like here: someone with the guts to start a new publishing house; republishing great lost books; beautiful covers; and information on the cover artists easily available on the publisher's website (though that last one might only be important to nerds like me).


Ian Shimkoviak said...

really beautiful. wish there was more houses like this. It's all run down, run of the mill stuff out there. This is a breath of fresh air visually and content wise. Not sure how effective it is as business model, but glad that it's out there. I always liked what Featherproof press ( putting out and doing with publishing. That takes guts and a lot of faith in people out there still reading things other than Bestsellers on Amazon.

Guinevere said...

Ooh, I love those covers. Thanks for posting about Dorothy - very cool.

JRSM said...

Ian: Wow--I didn't even know about Featherproof! I must investigate further, as their site looks fascinating.

Guinevere, thank you!

. said...

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JRSM said...

Well, maybe I just darn well will--thanks!

Hannah Stoneham said...

The who was changed cover is so good and really caputures what the book is about without trying to attempt a synopsis in picture form which book covers sometimes do - I think it is just right. In terms of the other Comyns covers - I have a soft spot for the original viragos - the stanley spencer details - but the later editions which use vintagey looking photos of young girls - I am afraid that I think they are all wrong for the novels.
Dorothy is a great press looking forward to more from her. Thanks indeed for sharing

JRSM said...

Yes, those Stanley Spencer covers are just right: colourful, detailed, and a little bit sinister. The photos aren't quite peculiar enough.