Fourth Estate marks 25 years of publishing

Liz Thomson
News - Publishing 07 Jan 2009

Fourth Estate celebrates its silver anniversary this year, and the imprint - which became part of HarperCollins in 2000, when founder Victoria Barnsley was appointed CEO - will celebrate with 25 events round the world in places such as Auckland, Sydney, Dublin and London. The programme begins in February at the Emirates Airlines International Festival of Literature in Dubai, where Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Frank McCourt will be among the visiting authors. A cabaret-style event at London's Roundhouse is planned for May, the month Fourth Estate was founded, and will involve authors past, present and future.

May will also bring new editions of five classic books, and artists/designers have been commissioned to produce new covers: Gillian Waring The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Michael Landy The Corrections; Bob Crowley The Year of Magical Thinking; Hervin Anderson Half of a Yellow Sun; and Caragh Thuring The Shipping News. The jackets will fold out into a poster and will have no type on them at all. Ten new short stories by both well-known and up-and-coming Fourth Estate authors have been commissioned, including work by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Patrick Gale and Philip Hensher, Yiyun Li and Joyce Carol Oates. It will appear in Anon-tology, a magazine to be distributed free at festivals and bookshops; it will list the authors, but without attributing them to particular stories.
A whimsical animated film, specially commissioned, provides a tour through 25 years of Fourth Estate's publishing. To date 120,000 people have watched it, and it has been been written about in places 'from the New Yorker to Kanye West's blog!'

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