Wednesday April 14th, 2010

Bellevue’s Day in the Sun

The Wall Street Journal details the strange but great news that a tiny press published this year’s Pulitzer winner for fiction:

To call it a surprise that Bellevue published a Pulitzer-winning novel — the first small press to do so since Louisiana State University Press published A Confederacy of Dunces in 1981 — is a vast understatement. The imprint, which was founded in 2005, is part of New York University’s School of Medicine and specializes in books that explore the convergence of science and the arts. One of Bellevue’s recent titles was Water, Ice & Stone: Science and Memory on the Antarctic Lakes.

Indeed, Bellevue is the very definition of a small, specialized press. According to [Editorial Director Erika] Goldman, the publishing schedule consists of eight books per year, or four a season, three being non-fiction and one a novel. Author advances, she said, are “symbolic” — publishing industry code for miniscule. The full-time staff, meanwhile, consists of Goldman, a veteran editor who’s worked at Scribner and Simon & Schuster, and an assistant.