Fed up with the poor quality of so many books from major publishers? This is the second in a series of posts on great small or independent presses that have had high standards for years and sometimes decades.
In addition to its usual reviews, One-Minute Book Reviews will post a short profile of a different publisher each day this week, including a link to its site, which you may want to consult for holiday gift ideas. The series will continue after this week on an occasional basis.
An independent publisher that wants to make “a humane impact on society”
By Janice Harayda
Milkweed Editions www.milkweed.org bills itself as “the largest independent, nonprofit literary publisher in the United States.” Founded in 1979, it seeks to make “a humane impact on society, in the belief that good writing can transform the human heart and spirit.”
Unlike commercial firms, Mikweed receives grants from foundations that enable its editors to look for books of exceptional merit, not exceptional profitability, for adults and children. The outside financial support also enables the Minneapolis–based press to publish unusually well-designed books.
The most admired Milkweed books include Susan Lowell’s young-adult novel, I am Lavina Cumming, winner of the Mountains & Plains Booksellers Association Award for its beautifully told story of a 10-year-old girl who travels by train from the Arizona Territory to California, where she survives the San Francisco Earthquake. The site for the press lists other award-winning titles. Milkweed is also the American publisher of Jutta Richter, one of Germany’s most honored children’s authors.
On Saturday One-Minute Book Reviews will review The Summer of the Pike, Richter’s first young-adult novel to be published by Milkweed.
One-Minute Book Reviews was the seventh-ranked book review site on Google www.google.com/Top/Arts/Literature/Reviews_and_Criticism/as of Sept. 6, 2007. It does not accept free books from publishers.
(c) 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.