Canongate Books

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Canongate Books
Founded1973;47 years ago (1973)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters location Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Distribution The Book Service (UK)
Grove Atlantic (US)
Key people Jamie Byng, Publisher and Managing Director
Publication types Books
Official website

Canongate Books (often simply Canongate) is an independent publishing firm based in Edinburgh, Scotland.


It is named after the Canongate area of the city. It is most recognised for publishing the Booker Prizewinner Life of Pi . Canongate was named the British Book Awards, Publisher of the Year in 2003 and 2009. [1] [2]


Canongate was founded in 1973 by Stephanie Wolfe Murray and her husband Angus Wolfe Murray. [3] Originally a speciality press focusing on Scottish-interest books, generally with small print runs, its most major author was Alasdair Gray. In 1994 it was purchased from the receiver in a management buyout led by Jamie Byng, using funds provided by his stepfather Christopher Bland and his father-in-law Charlie McVeigh, and began to publish more general works, including the Pocket Canons editions of books of the Bible, as well as the Payback Press and Rebel Inc. imprints. [4] [5] Byng is now the Publisher and Managing Director of the company.

In June 2010 it was announced that a "living archive" of Canongate Books was to be established at the University of Dundee in collaboration with the University's Archive Services, which will be used for teaching and research. [6] [7]

Partners and joint ventures

Canongate once had a sister company in Australia, Text Publishing; Canongate's majority interest was sold in 2011. [8] It also has joint venture operations with the children's publisher Walker who will publish selected titles for their young adult fiction list. [9] Grove/Atlantic, Inc. publishes under the Canongate U.S. imprint, also under a joint venture arrangement. [10] In March 2010, Canongate and Dirtee Stank announced a joint venture agreement to publish Dizzee Rascal's memoir, although this agreement later fell through. [11]

Canongate is part of the Independent Alliance, a global alliance of 10 UK publishers and their international publishing partners. [12] In 2009, the Alliance was the UK's fifth largest publisher. [13]

Enhanced Editions and Canongate also work in partnership in the production of selected books enhanced for the iPhone and iPod Touch. [14] The titles that have been released are: Dreams From My Father , The Audacity of Hope , The Death of Bunny Munro and The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ .

Notable authors and works

Before 1994

Alasdair Gray

Charles Palliser

Irvine Welsh


Julian Assange

The Mighty Boosh

Noel Fielding (with Mighty Boosh member Dave Brown)

Nick Cave

David Eagleman

Michel Faber

Matt Haig

Steven Hall

Miranda July

Yann Martel

James Meek (author)

Barack Obama

Dizzee Rascal

David Shrigley

David Simon

Martin C. Strong [24]

Scarlett Thomas

Simon Tofield

Canongate Myth Series

In which contemporary authors re-imagine ancient myths from a variety of cultures


See also

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  14. "". Archived from the original on 7 April 2010. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
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  33. Alison Flood, "Geoff Dyer wins Wodehouse prize for comic fiction",, 29 May 2009.
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  37. Sian Cain, "Wainwright prize goes to Amy Liptrot's 'searingly honest' The Outrun", The Guardian, 5 August 2016.