Independent publisher Melville House announced
that it is launching a British publishing house to be called Melville House UK. The Brooklyn-based publisher
was the winner of the 2012 Bread and Roses prize for Radical Publishing. Founders Dennis Johnson and Valerie Merians started Melville in 2001 as an activist publisher which opposed the Bush administration. Since then, the publisher has expanded its reach to include literary fiction,
such as books by Nobel Prize-winners Imre Kertesz and Heinrich Boll. Melville also publishes nonfiction and current events titles.
The company will introduce its U.S. titles to the UK and then will begin acquiring British works. Johnson said in a statement,
"It's time. Our classics line, The Art of the Novella, has always done well in Britain, but sales of our other U.S. titles have grown explosively there over the last few years, some of the best writing we've published lately has been by British writers, such as Lars Iyer and Lee Rourke; we're winning British book awards, I hear more and more from British booksellers and media about our books Ö And so rather than simply expand our US companyís operations here, we wanted to form a distinctly British company that would respond more particularly to that kind of welcome. Itís not a branch, nor an office. It's a distinct, British company."
Zeljka Marosevic, who was a marketing executive at 4th Estate, has joined the firm as Director of Marketing. Marosevic led the charge internally at 4th Estate to recruit Girls
creator Lena Dunham as an author and is expected to hit the ground running with the new venture.
Johnson joked that the company was happy to have a London correspondent for the company's popular book blog MobyLives, which has many British readers: "now we'll finally have someone who knows how to spell 'colour,' and 'humour.'"