Tuesday 18 November 2008

The Faber Diary

Faber and Faber have a long track record of publishing important and interesting work, and some of the classic titles in the company’s backlist are celebrated in a 2009 Diary that they have kindly sent to me. Effective marketing, because I'm impressed. It is an attractively produced publication and a well-conceived reminder of the calibre of their books.

According to the introduction to the diary, T.S. Eliot joined Michael Faber on the company’s board ‘and the story goes that Walter De La Mare suggested adding a second, fictitious Faber to balance the company name’ – a story I find rather appealing. Auden was published by Faber, and so too were Hughes and Plath, as well as major dramatists such as Stoppard and Osborne. Novelists on the list have included William Golding, Lawrence Durrell, Paul Auster and Milan Kundera.

Faber have also published first-rate crime writers,including a lawyer-novelist whom I have long admired, the late Cyril Hare as well as such major figures as P.D.James and Michael Dibdin.

This generously illustrated diary strikes me as a splendid way of celebrating the quality of Faber’s output, as well as eighty years of publishing. Long may they continue.

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