Four Walls Eight Windows was an independent book publisher in New York City. Known as 4W8W or Four Walls, the company was notable for its dual commitment to progressive politics and adventurous, edgy literary fiction.
Among the more significant contemporary authors published by Four Walls were Steve Aylett, Ed Ayres, Michael Brodsky, Octavia Butler, Jerome Charyn, Andrei Codrescu, Richard Condon, Sue Coe, R. Crumb, Paul Di Filippo, Cory Doctorow, Andrea Dworkin, Brian Evenson, Annie Ernaux, Allen Ginsberg, Abbie Hoffman, Margo Howard-Howard, Kathe Koja, Gordon Lish, Gary Lutz, Jim Munroe, Harvey Pekar, Tito Perdue, Rudy Rucker, John Ralston Saul, Lucius Shepard, Sasha Sokolov and Edward D. Wood, Jr. It also had a line of "modern classics," which included authors such as Nelson Algren, Sherwood Anderson, George Plimpton and Sloan Wilson.
|Four Walls Eight Windows|
|Founder||John G. H. Oakes and Daniel Simon|
|Successor||Thunder's Mouth Press|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||New York City|
Four Walls debuted in the fall of 1987, under the direction of two young editors, John G. H. Oakes and Daniel Simon. (Simon had previously had an imprint under the same name at Writers and Readers Publishing.)
In 1995, Oakes and Simon parted ways. Oakes remained as publisher and Simon went on to found Seven Stories Press.
In 2004, Four Walls Eight Windows was acquired by the Avalon Publishing Group. Its entire list was incorporated into the Thunder's Mouth Press imprint of Avalon, of which Oakes became publisher. Thunder's Mouth Press itself was acquired in 2007 by the Perseus Books Group. (Oakes then became executive editor at Atlas & Company under James Atlas; he is now co-publisher of OR Books.) Perseus stopped publishing books under the Thunder's Mouth imprint in May 2007.
A Place So Foreign and Eight More is a collection of short stories by Canadian-British writer Cory Doctorow. Six of these stories were released electronically under a Creative Commons license. A paperback edition was issued in New York by publisher Four Walls Eight Windows in 2003 with ISBN 1-56858-286-2. The collection features an introduction by Bruce Sterling, and includes "0wnz0red", which was nominated for the 2003 Nebula Award for Best Novelette.American Splendor
American Splendor is a series of autobiographical comic books written by Harvey Pekar and drawn by a variety of artists. The first issue was published in 1976 and the most recent in September 2008, with publication occurring at irregular intervals. Publishers have been, at various times, Harvey Pekar himself, Dark Horse Comics, and DC Comics.The comics have been adapted into a film of the same name and a number of theatrical productions.Dami Mission
The Dami Mission (Korean: 다미선교회) was a Christian religious movement founded in South Korea by Lee Jang Rim (Korean: 이장림; Hanja: 李長林). It received worldwide attention after Lee predicted that the rapture and end of the world would occur on 28 October 1992. After the prediction failed Lee was convicted of defrauding his followers out of millions of dollars.Dogbowl
Stephen Tunney, also known as Dogbowl, is an American artist, musician and novelist. He was a founding member of the avant-garde band King Missile (Dog Fly Religion) and has recorded many albums as a solo act.
He is also the author of two novels, the surreal, post-apocalyptic Flan, published in 1992 by Four Walls Eight Windows, and One Hundred Percent Lunar Boy, published in 2010 by MacAdam/Cage. One Hundred Percent Lunar Boy takes place on a terraformed Moon two thousand years in the future and chronicles the misadventures of sixteen-year-old Hieronymus Rexaphin, a boy who can see the fourth primary color, and the trouble he gets into after showing his unusual eyes to a teenage tourist girl from Earth.Gary Lutz
Gary Lutz is an American writer of both poetry and fiction. His work has appeared in Sleepingfish, NOON, The Quarterly, Conjunctions, Unsaid, Fence, StoryQuarterly, The Believer, Cimarron Review, 3rd Bed, Slate Magazine, New York Tyrant, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, The Apocalypse Reader (Thunder's Mouth Press), PP/FF: An Anthology (Starcherone Books), The Random House Treasury of Light Verse and in the film 60 Writers/60 Places..
A collection of his short fiction, Stories in the Worst Way, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in November 1996 and re-published by 3rd Bed in 2002 and Calamari Press in 2009. Lutz's second collection of short stories, I Looked Alive, was published by the now-defunct Four Walls Eight Windows in 2003 and republished by Black Square Editions/Brooklyn Rail in 2010. Partial List of People to Bleach, a chapbook of both new and rare early stories (published pseudonymously as Lee Stone in Gordon Lish's The Quarterly) was released by Future Tense Books in 2007. Divorcer, a collection of seven stories, was released by Calamari Press in 2011.
In 1996, Gary Lutz was recipient of a literature grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1999, he was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award.
Gary Lutz is currently an assistant professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.Gordon Lish
Gordon Lish (born February 11, 1934 in Hewlett, New York) is an American writer. As a literary editor, he championed many American authors, particularly Raymond Carver, Barry Hannah, Amy Hempel, Rick Bass, and Richard Ford. He is the father of the novelist Atticus Lish.Harvey Pekar
Harvey Lawrence Pekar (; October 8, 1939 – July 12, 2010) was an American underground comic book writer, music critic, and media personality, best known for his autobiographical American Splendor comic series. In 2003, the series inspired a well-received film adaptation of the same name.
Frequently described as the "poet laureate of Cleveland," Pekar "helped change the appreciation for, and perceptions of, the graphic novel, the drawn memoir, the autobiographical comic narrative." Pekar described his work as "autobiography written as it's happening. The theme is about staying alive, getting a job, finding a mate, having a place to live, finding a creative outlet. Life is a war of attrition. You have to stay active on all fronts. It's one thing after another. I've tried to control a chaotic universe. And it's a losing battle. But I can't let go. I've tried, but I can't."J. T. Lindroos
J. T. Lindroos (born July 1, 1971) is a Finnish born, naturalized American designer, publisher, editor and writer. He has been married to the American voice actor Kathleen Martin since January 4, 2000 and they live in Southern Indiana. He is currently best known as the co-founder and senior editor of the publishing imprint Point Blank, under which he published the first novels of Allan Guthrie and Duane Swierczynski.
After a decade of work as a low level government bureaucrat in Finland, with no formal education in either the arts or literature, Lindroos first came to the publishing business through his jacket designs and artwork for the small science fiction imprint Cosmos Books in 1998. He has since designed hundreds of book jackets for independent publishers like Prime Books, Crippen & Landru, Four Walls Eight Windows and Night Shade Books. He was also the art director for the short-lived Underworlds magazine. He has worked extensively with the World Fantasy Award winner Jeff VanderMeer as a designer, as well as directing a short film based on VanderMeer's script in 2006.
He co-edited and published with Kathleen Martin the 2004 selection of Charles Willeford's short fiction, The Second Half of the Double Feature. He was also responsible for the publication and design of Leena Krohn's World Fantasy Award nominated short novel, Tainaron, in its English-language edition.
Lindroos also works for as an artist for a high-profile recognition services company, designing awards for clients ranging from Ernst & Young and NASCAR racing to Lockheed Martin and BET Hip Hop Awards. He has also been a freelance music reviewer for Allmusic since August 2007.Jim Munroe
Jim Munroe is a Canadian science fiction author, who publishes his works independently under the imprint No Media Kings.
Munroe was managing editor at the magazine Adbusters in the 1990s, before publishing his debut novel Flyboy Action Figure Comes With Gasmask in 1999. The novel was put out by HarperCollins, a major publishing company owned by Rupert Murdoch, and though the book was successful, Munroe so disliked the experience that he launched No Media Kings as a venue for publishing and promoting his own works independently, and a guide to self-publishing for other prospective writers.
In 2000, Munroe released Angry Young Spaceman through No Media Kings and, in the U.S., Four Walls Eight Windows. He followed up with Everyone in Silico in 2002, which was promoted partly by Munroe's attempt to invoice corporations mentioned in the novel for product placement. An Opening Act of Unspeakable Evil, a novel written in the form of blog entries, followed in 2004. Munroe's most recent books are Therefore Repent! and Sword of My Mouth, graphic novels set in post-Rapture Chicago and Detroit.
Munroe was the founder of Perpetual Motion Roadshow, a North American indie touring circuit that sent 100 writers, performers and musicians on the road between 2003-2007. A former video games columnist for Eye Weekly, he is a founding board member of the Hand Eye Society and has produced projects such as the Torontron.Lucius Shepard
Lucius Shepard (August 21, 1943 – March 18, 2014) was an American writer. Classified as a science fiction and fantasy writer, he often leaned into other genres, such as magical realism. His work is infused with a political and historical sensibility and an awareness of literary antecedents.Michael Brodsky
Michael Mark Brodsky (born Aug 2, 1948) is a scientific/medical editor, novelist, playwright, and short story writer. He is best known for his novels, and for his translation of Samuel Beckett's Eleuthéria.Our Cancer Year
Our Cancer Year is a graphic novel written by Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner and illustrated by Frank Stack.
Published in 1994 by Four Walls Eight Windows, Our Cancer Year (an offshoot of the cult favorite comic book series American Splendor) relates the story of Pekar's harrowing yet successful treatment struggle to overcome lymphoma, as well as serving as a social commentary on events of that year.
In a contemporaneous review, Publishers Weekly described the book this way:
In 1990, Pekar was diagnosed with lymphoma and needed chemotherapy. By the time the disease was discovered, the couple was in the midst of buying a house (a tremendous worry to Pekar, who fretted about both the money and corruptions of bourgeois creature comforts). Brabner, a self-described "comic book journalist," had to oversee both the new house and a sick and very difficult husband. Pekar's cancer treatment and suffering will take your breath away, but there's a happy ending; and the book (and their marriage) is distinguished by Brabner's great tenderness and determination in the middle of Pekar's medical nightmare. Stack's brisk and elegantly gestural black-and-white drawings wonderfully delineate this captivating story of love, community, recuperation and international friendship.
Pekar and Brabner discussed their unusual domestic/creative partnership in an article in the Los Angeles Times:
They're an odd couple, Pekar and Brabner. They quibble constantly, with Brabner interrupting or berating Pekar for seemingly every other thought, while he sighs in resignation and moans "Yeah, sure, Joyce, whatever you say," in his most condescending tone. The book is scripted in the same fractious manner. "We wrote the book in the same voice we use when we tell people what happened," Brabner said. "We step on each other's lines, we interrupt each other, we contradict each other. That's the way it is. The book sounds like the way we talk."
Our Cancer Year won the 1995 Harvey Award for best original graphic novel.The creation of Our Cancer Year and many elements of its story were incorporated into the 2003 film American Splendor, based on the life and career of Pekar and his relationship with Brabner.Sasha Sokolov
Sasha Sokolov (born Александр Всеволодович Соколов/Alexander Vsevolodovitch Sokolov on November 6, 1943, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) is a paradoxical writer of Russian literature.
He became known worldwide in the 1970s after his first novel, A School for Fools, had been published in translation by Ardis Publishing (Ann Arbor, Michigan) in the US, and later reissued by Four Walls Eight Windows. Sokolov is one of the most important authors of 20th-century Russian literature. He is well acclaimed for his unorthodox use of language, playing with rhythms, sounds and associations. The author himself coined the term "proeziia" for his work—in between prose and poetry (English close form of the term can sound as "proetry").Seven Stories Press
Seven Stories Press is an independent American publishing company. Centered in New York City, the company was founded by editor Dan Simon in 1995, after establishing Four Walls Eight Windows with John Oakes. The company was named for its seven founding authors: Annie Ernaux, Gary Null, the estate of Nelson Algren, Project Censored, Octavia E. Butler, Charley Rosen, and Vassilis Vassilikos, all of whom have continued to publish with Seven Stories.Seven Stories Press states that they "publish works of the imagination and political titles by voices of conscience." Seven Stories also publishes a wide range of literature, National Book Award–winning poetry collections, and translations in prose and poetry from French, Spanish, German, Swedish, Italian, Greek, Polish, Korean, Vietnamese, Russian, and Arabic.Steve Aylett
Steve Aylett (born 1967 in Bromley, United Kingdom) is an author of satirical science fiction, fantasy, and slipstream. According to the critic Bill Ectric, "much of Aylett’s work combines the bawdy, action-oriented style of Voltaire with the sedentary, faux cultivated style of Peacock." Stylistically, Aylett is often seen as a difficult writer. As the critic Robert Kiely suggests, his books tend to be "baroque in their density, speed, and finely crafted detail; they are overcrowded, they dazzle and distort and wait for us to catch up with their narrative world."Although Aylett is best known for his novels, and for his transmedial metafiction Lint, he has also created comics, stand-up, performance, music, movies, and art, often working in appropriative and other avant-garde modes. Aylett is also one of the few UK authors associated with the largely US-based Bizarro literary movement.Sue Coe
Sue Coe (born 21 February 1951) is an English artist and illustrator working primarily in drawing, printmaking, and in the form of illustrated books and comics. Her work is in the tradition of social protest art and is highly political. Coe's work often includes animal rights commentary, though she also creates work that centralizes the rights of marginalized peoples and criticizes capitalism. Her commentary on political events and social injustice are published in newspapers, magazines and books. Her work has been shown internationally in both solo and group exhibitions and has been collected by various international museums. She lives in Upstate New York.The Cornelius Quartet
The Cornelius Quartet is the collective name for the Jerry Cornelius novels by Michael Moorcock, although the first one-volume edition was entitled The Cornelius Chronicles. It is composed of The Final Programme, A Cure for Cancer, The English Assassin and The Condition of Muzak. The collection has remained continuously in print for 30 years.
The four novels are set in an ever shifting, yet always fashionable, alternate "multiverse" of anarchist revolutionaries and English popart turmoil. They chart the adventures of a wide range of recurring characters, notably Jerry Cornelius and his sister Catherine, Una Persson and Colonel Pyat. The books are neither straight science fiction nor pure fantasy, Moorcock himself commented "Much of my work borrowed from the iconography and vocabulary of science fiction in the 1960s but I would not, for instance, classify the Jerry Cornelius tetralogy as a genre work".The Complete Review said that it comprised "an arc of Jerry Cornelius-adventures, from the (fairly) straightforward action-adventure of the first, The Final Programme, to the metaphysical summa of The Condition of Muzak." It observes that "Cornelius is a superhero, but a flawed one. He is indestructible and yet has weaknesses. He is both a former Jesuit and a physicist. Party-animal and solitary soul. By the end of the tetralogy he is a messiah – yet another role he is not ideally suited for."Reviewing the 974-page volume, Matthew Wolf-Meyer noted its influence on a host of contemporary artists in music and literature, writing that :
"It would be impossible to deny the profound influences that Michael Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius novels have had, not only on the genres of science fiction and fantasy, but also popular music, film, and television. Or it might simply be that Moorcock was so perfectly in tune with the advent of postmodernism that he anticipated in his writing, in his mood, what was to come, and all the material that seems to derive from The Cornelius Quartet, in actuality, derives from the zeitgeist instead. In reading the collection, for the reader at the cusp of the 21st century, it acts as a historical piece, positing the genealogical influence of a series of more contemporary works, from Bryan Talbot's graphic novel Heart of Empire to David Bowie's album Outside; Jerry Cornelius is that common source for much of contemporary postmodern (British) popular art."Moorcock wrote "A note on the Jerry Cornelius Tetralogy" in 1976 in which he outlined the 'disciplined logic' which underpinned the work as a unified whole.
"Part of my original intention with the Jerry Cornelius stories was to 'liberate' the narrative; to leave it open to the reader's interpretation as much as possible – to involve the reader in such a way as to bring their own imagination into play. This impulse was probably a result of my interest in Brecht – an interest I'd had since the mid-fifties.Although the structure of the tetralogy is very strict (some might think over-mechanical) the scope for interpretation is hopefully much wider than the conventional novel. The underlying logic is also very disciplined, particularly in the last three volumes. It's my view that a work of fiction should contain nothing which does not contribute to the overall scheme. The whimsicalities to be found in all the books are, in fact, not random, not mere conceits, but make internal references. That is to say, while I strive for the effect of randomness on one level, the effect is achieved by a tightly controlled system of internal reference, puns, ironies, logic-jumps which no single reader may fairly be expected to follow."In an interview for "The Zone" science fiction magazine, Moorcock later commented that the stories in the Cornelius saga were "more criticism and commentary on their times than they were celebration, I knew there wasn't enough hard political infrastructure to make the sentiment come true. I said while it was happening that I knew it was a Golden Age. I sensed it couldn't last."The collection was first published as "The Cornelius Chronicles" in 1977 by Avon Books and a revised version under this name appeared in 1979 with an introduction by John Clute. It first appeared under the title of "The Cornelius Quartet" in 1993 in Britain and 2001 in the United States. It was published as "Les Aventures de Jerry Cornelius" in France. The current American edition ISBN 978-1-56858-183-5 was published by Four Walls Eight Windows in June 2001. The collection was republished in 2013 by Gollancz with some further revisions.The Jaguar Hunter
The Jaguar Hunter is a collection of science fiction, fantasy and horror stories by American author Lucius Shepard. Illustrated by J. K. Potter, it was released in May, 1987 and was the author's first book published by Arkham House. It was originally published in an edition of 3,194 copies, with a second printing later in 1987 of 1,508 copies. Bantam Books issued a trade paperback edition in 1989, and Four Walls Eight Windows reprinted the collection in 2001. The first British publication came as a Paladin Books trade paperback in 1988, followed quickly by a Kerosina Books hardcover. A Rumanian translation appeared in 2008.The Jaguar Hunter won the 1988 World Fantasy Award for best collection, as well as the Locus Award in the same category. Five of the stories were nominated for the Nebula Award, one winning the award; three of those were also nominated for the Hugo Award; and one nominated, for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards. Ten of the eleven stories placed in the annual Locus polls, eight reached the top ten, and two won Locus Awards.The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius
The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius is a collection of short stories by British fantasy and science fiction writer Michael Moorcock. It is part of his long-running Jerry Cornelius series.
The book was originally published by Allison & Busby in 1976 and collects stories originally published between 1969 and 1974.
A later edition was published in 2003 by Four Walls Eight Windows, in which four stories from the original edition are replaced.