Viking Press

Viking Press (formally Viking Penguin, also listed as Viking Books) is an American publishing company now owned by Penguin Random House. It was founded in New York City on March 1, 1925, by Harold K. Guinzburg and George S. Oppenheim[1] and then acquired by the Penguin Group in 1975.[2]

Viking Press
Viking-press-logo
Parent companyPenguin Random House
StatusActive
Founded1925
FoundersHarold K. Guinzburg, George S. Oppenheim
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationNew York City, New York
Key peoplePresident-Brian Tart, Children's publisher Kenneth Wright
ImprintsPamela Dorman
Official websitepenguin.com/publishers/vikingbooks/

History

Guinzburg, a Harvard graduate and former employee of Simon and Schuster and Oppenheimer, a graduate of Williams College and Alfred A. Knopf, founded Viking in 1925 with the goal of publishing nonfiction and “distinguished fiction with some claim to permanent importance rather than ephemeral popular interest.”[3] B. W. Huebsch joined the firm shortly afterward. Harold Guinzburg's son Thomas became president in 1961.[3]

The firm's name and logo—a Viking ship drawn by Rockwell Kent—were meant to evoke the ideas of adventure, exploration, and enterprise implied by the word "Viking."

In August of that year, they acquired H.B. Huesbsch, which maintained a list of backlist titles from authors such as James Joyce and Sherwood Anderson. The first imprint was The Book of American Negro Spirituals, edited by James Weldon Johnson. The young firm focused on aggressive advertising and a liberal return policy. These policies, along with popular fiction authors Dorothy Parker, D.H. Lawrence and Erskine Caldwell, as well as non-fiction authors Bertrand Russell and Mohandis Gandhi, helped the firm weather the Depression.

The house has been home to many prominent authors of fiction, non-fiction, and play scripts. Five Viking authors have been awarded Nobel Prizes for Literature and one received the Nobel Peace Prize; Viking books have also won numerous Pulitzer Prizes, National Book Awards, and other important literary prizes.

The Viking Children's Book department was established in 1933; its founding editor was May Massee. Viking Kestrel was one of its imprints. Its books have won the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, and include such books as The Twenty-One Balloons, written and illustrated by William Pene du Bois (1947, Newbery medal winner for 1948), Corduroy, Make Way for Ducklings, The Stinky Cheese Man by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith (1993), The Outsiders, Pippi Longstocking, and The Story of Ferdinand. Its paperbacks are now published by Puffin Books, which includes the Speak and Firebird imprints. From 2012 and as of 2016, Viking Children's publisher is Kenneth Wright.[4]

In 1943, the Viking Portable Library was introduced, a series designed to provide compact, well-printed anthologies for the general reader and college students. These compilations encompassed works by Hemingway, Steinbeck and Shakespeare. Over the next decade, Viking published works by Lillian Hellman, Arthur Miller, Rumer Godden and Rex Stout. Saul Bellow published his third novel, The Adventure of Augie March in 1953, and would publish his next five works with the press, including the Pulitzer Prize winning Humboldt's Gift in 1975. In 1957, Jack Kerouac's On the Road was published by the press, and during the 1960's Viking published works by Hannah Arendt, Theodore Draper, Zbignew Brzezinski, Ian Fleming, Ken Kesey, and Jimmy Breslin.

Viking publishes approximately 75 books a year. It is notable for publishing both successful commercial fiction and acclaimed literary fiction and non-fiction, and its paperbacks are most often published by Penguin Books. Viking's current president is Brian Tart.[5]

Series

Viking Critical Library

The Viking Critical Library offers academic editions of literary texts. Like W. W. Norton's Norton Critical Editions, all titles print the text alongside a selection of critical essays and contextual documents (including relevant extracts from the author's oeuvre). The series, which only saw sporadic publications in the late '70s and late '90s, has been dormant since 1998, with no new titles released since then. However, a number of existing titles remain in print.

Titles
Author Title Editor Notes
Don DeLillo White Noise Mark Osteen Published in 1998. As of September 2018, the latest publication in the series.
Graham Greene The Quiet American John Clark Pratt Published in 1996.
James Joyce Dubliners Robert Scholes Published in 1996.
James Joyce Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Chester G. Anderson Published in 1977. The only title which includes explanatory end notes.
Ken Kesey One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest John Clark Pratt Published in 1977. Out of print.
Jack Kerouac On the Road Scott Donaldson Published in 1979. Out of print.
Arthur Miller The Crucible Gerald Weales Published in 1996.
Arthur Miller Death of a Salesman Gerald Weales Published in 1996.
John Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath Kevin Hearle Published in 1997.

Notable editors

Notable authors

Viking Children's

In 1933, Viking Press founded a department called Junior Books to publish children's books. The first book published was The Story About Ping in 1933 under editor May Massee. Other stories published under the Viking label early in its history include Make Way for Ducklings (1941), The Twenty-One Balloons (1947) and The Story of Ferdinand (1936). Junior Books was renamed to Viking Children's Books at some point in the past. It currently publishes approximately sixty titles a year.

Notable authors

Awards

  • 10 Newbery Medals
  • 10 Caldecott Medals
  • 27 Newbery Honors
  • 33 Caldecott Honors
  • 1 American Book Award
  • 2 Coretta Scott King Awards
  • 3 Batcheldor Honors
  • 5 Christopher Medals
  • 2 Margaret A. Edwards Awards for authors S. E. Hinton and Richard Peck

References

  1. ^ Kenneth T. Jackson; Lisa Keller; Nancy Flood (1995). The Encyclopedia of New York City: Second Edition. New York: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0300055368.
  2. ^ Egli, ed. (1975). "Viking Press Is Sold To Penguin Books". School Library Journal. 22 (4): 16.
  3. ^ a b Weber, Bruce. "Thomas Guinzburg, Paris Review Co-Founder, Dies at 84", The New York Times, September 10, 2010. Accessed September 13, 2010.
  4. ^ "Viking Children's Books". Penguin Random House. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  5. ^ "Brian Tart | The Bookseller". www.thebookseller.com. Retrieved 2017-09-13.

Bean, Martha Sue. A History and Profile of the Viking Press, Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Theses, 1969.

"Viking Press, Viking Penguin", Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 46, pp. 365-368.

External links

Cujo

Cujo () is a 1981 psychological horror novel by American writer Stephen King, about a rabid dog. The novel won the British Fantasy Award in 1982, and was made into a film in 1983.

Different Seasons

Different Seasons (1982) is a collection of four Stephen King novellas with a more serious dramatic bent than the horror fiction for which King is famous. The four novellas are tied together via subtitles that relate to each of the four seasons. The collection is notable for having had three of its four novellas turned into Hollywood films, one of which, The Shawshank Redemption, was nominated for the 1994 Academy Award for Best Picture.

Humboldt's Gift

Humboldt's Gift is a 1975 novel by Canadian-American author Saul Bellow. It won the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and contributed to Bellow's winning the Nobel Prize in Literature the same year.

The Outsiders (novel)

The Outsiders is a coming-of-age novel by S. E. Hinton, first published in 1967 by Viking Press. Hinton was 15 when she started writing the novel but did most of the work when she was 16 and a junior in high school. Hinton was 18 when the book was published. The book details the conflict between two rival gangs divided by their socioeconomic status: the working-class "greasers" and the upper-class "Socs" (pronounced —short for Socials). The story is told in first-person perspective by teenaged protagonist Ponyboy Curtis.

The story in the book takes place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1965, but this is never explicitly stated in the book.

A film adaptation was produced in 1983, and a little-known short-lived television series appeared in 1990, picking up where the movie left off. A stage adaptation was written by Christopher Sergel and published in 1990.

The Women (novel)

The Women is a 2009 novel by T. C. Boyle. It is a fictional account of Frank Lloyd Wright's life, told through his relationships with four women: the young Montenegrin dancer Olgivanna; Miriam, the "morphine-addicted and obsessive Southern belle"; Mamah, whose life ended in a massacre at Taliesin, the home Wright built for his lovers and wives; and his first wife, Kitty, the mother of six of his children."

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