Viking Press

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Viking Press
Viking-press-logo.jpg
Parent company Penguin Random House
StatusActive
Founded1925;94 years ago (1925)
Founders Harold K. Guinzburg, George S. Oppenheim
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location New York City, New York
Key peoplePresident-Brian Tart, Children's publisher Kenneth Wright
Imprints Pamela Dorman
Official website penguin.com/publishers/vikingbooks/

Viking Press (formally Viking Penguin, also listed as Viking Books) is an American publishing company now owned by Penguin Random House. It was founded in New York City on March 1, 1925, by Harold K. Guinzburg and George S. Oppenheim [1] and then acquired by the Penguin Group in 1975. [2]

Penguin Random House book publishing company

Penguin Random House (PRH) is an American multinational conglomerate publishing company formed in 2013 from the merger of Random House and Penguin Group . As of 2013, Penguin Random House employed about 10,000 people globally and published 15,000 titles annually under its 250 divisions and imprints. These titles include fiction and nonfiction for adults and children in both print and digital.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

The Penguin Group is a trade book publisher and part of Penguin Random House. It is owned by Pearson PLC, the global education and publishing company, and Bertelsmann, the German media conglomerate. The new company was created by a merger that was finalised on 1 July 2013, with Bertelsmann owning 53% of the joint venture, and Pearson controlling the remaining 47%.

Contents

History

Guinzburg, a Harvard graduate and former employee of Simon and Schuster and Oppenheimer, a graduate of Williams College and Alfred A. Knopf, founded Viking in 1925 with the goal of publishing nonfiction and “distinguished fiction with some claim to permanent importance rather than ephemeral popular interest.” [3] B. W. Huebsch joined the firm shortly afterward. Harold Guinzburg's son Thomas became president in 1961. [3]

B. W. Huebsch American publisher

Benjamin W. Huebsch, often known as Ben Huebsch, was an American publisher in New York City in the early 20th century.

Thomas Henry Guinzburg was an American editor and publisher who served as the first managing editor of The Paris Review following its inception in 1953 and later succeeded his father as president of the Viking Press.

The firm's name and logo—a Viking ship drawn by Rockwell Kent—were meant to evoke the ideas of adventure, exploration, and enterprise implied by the word "Viking."

Rockwell Kent American artist

Rockwell Kent was an American painter, printmaker, illustrator, writer, sailor, adventurer and voyager.

In August of that year, they acquired H.B. Huesbsch, which maintained a list of backlist titles from authors such as James Joyce and Sherwood Anderson. The first imprint was The Book of American Negro Spirituals, edited by James Weldon Johnson. The young firm focused on aggressive advertising and a liberal return policy. These policies, along with popular fiction authors Dorothy Parker, D.H. Lawrence and Erskine Caldwell, as well as non-fiction authors Bertrand Russell and Mohandis Gandhi, helped the firm weather the Depression.

The house has been home to many prominent authors of fiction, non-fiction, and play scripts. Five Viking authors have been awarded Nobel Prizes for Literature and one received the Nobel Peace Prize; Viking books have also won numerous Pulitzer Prizes, National Book Awards, and other important literary prizes.

Nobel Peace Prize One of five Nobel Prizes established by Alfred Nobel

The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Swedish industrialist, inventor, and armaments manufacturer Alfred Nobel, along with the prizes in Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature. Since March 1901, it has been awarded annually to those who have "done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".

The National Book Awards are a set of annual U.S. literary awards. At the final National Book Awards Ceremony every November, the National Book Foundation presents the National Book Awards and two lifetime achievement awards to authors.

The Viking Children's Book department was established in 1933; its founding editor was May Massee. Viking Kestrel was one of its imprints. Its books have won the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, and include such books as The Twenty-One Balloons , written and illustrated by William Pene du Bois (1947, Newbery medal winner for 1948), Corduroy , Make Way for Ducklings , The Stinky Cheese Man by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith (1993), The Outsiders , Pippi Longstocking , and The Story of Ferdinand . Its paperbacks are now published by Puffin Books, which includes the Speak and Firebird imprints. From 2012 and as of 2016, Viking Children's publisher is Kenneth Wright. [4]

May Massee was an American children's book editor. She was the founding head of the juvenile departments at Doubleday from 1922 and at Viking Press from 1932. Prior to working at Doubleday she had been the editor the American Library Association periodical Booklist.

An imprint of a publisher is a trade name under which it publishes a work. A single publishing company may have multiple imprints, often using the different names as brands to market works to various demographic consumer segments.

Newbery Medal annual award for writing a childrens book published in the U.S.

The John Newbery Medal, frequently shortened to the Newbery, is a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), to the author of "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children." The Newbery and the Caldecott Medal are considered the two most prestigious awards for children's literature in the United States. Books selected are widely carried by bookstores and libraries, the authors are interviewed on television, and masters and doctoral theses are written on them. Named for John Newbery, an 18th-century English publisher of juvenile books, the Newbery is selected at ALA's Midwinter Conference by a fifteen-person committee. The Newbery was proposed by Frederic G. Melcher in 1921, making it the first children's book award in the world. The physical bronze medal was designed by Rene Paul Chambellan and is given to the winning author at the next ALA annual conference. Since its founding there have been several changes to the make-up of the selection committee, while the physical medal remains the same.

In 1943, the Viking Portable Library was introduced, a series designed to provide compact, well-printed anthologies for the general reader and college students. These compilations encompassed works by Hemingway, Steinbeck and Shakespeare. Over the next decade, Viking published works by Lillian Hellman, Arthur Miller, Rumer Godden and Rex Stout. Saul Bellow published his third novel, The Adventure of Augie March in 1953, and would publish his next five works with the press, including the Pulitzer Prize winning Humboldt's Gift in 1975. In 1957, Jack Kerouac's On the Road was published by the press, and during the 1960's Viking published works by Hannah Arendt, Theodore Draper, Zbignew Brzezinski, Ian Fleming, Ken Kesey, and Jimmy Breslin.

Viking publishes approximately 75 books a year. It is notable for publishing both successful commercial fiction and acclaimed literary fiction and non-fiction, and its paperbacks are most often published by Penguin Books. Viking's current president is Brian Tart. [5]

Series

Viking Critical Library

The Viking Critical Library offers academic editions of literary texts. Like W. W. Norton's Norton Critical Editions, all titles print the text alongside a selection of critical essays and contextual documents (including relevant extracts from the author's oeuvre). The series, which only saw sporadic publications in the late '70s and late '90s, has been dormant since 1998, with no new titles released since then. However, a number of existing titles remain in print.

Titles
AuthorTitleEditorNotes
Don DeLillo White Noise Mark OsteenPublished in 1998. As of September 2018, the latest publication in the series.
Graham Greene The Quiet American John Clark PrattPublished in 1996.
James Joyce Dubliners Robert Scholes Published in 1996.
James Joyce Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Chester G. AndersonPublished in 1977. The only title which includes explanatory end notes.
Ken Kesey One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest John Clark PrattPublished in 1977. Out of print.
Jack Kerouac On the Road Scott DonaldsonPublished in 1979. Out of print.
Arthur Miller The Crucible Gerald WealesPublished in 1996.
Arthur Miller Death of a Salesman Gerald WealesPublished in 1996.
John Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath Kevin HearlePublished in 1997.

Notable editors

Notable authors

Viking Children's

In 1933, Viking Press founded a department called Junior Books to publish children's books. The first book published was The Story About Ping in 1933 under editor May Massee. Other stories published under the Viking label early in its history include Make Way for Ducklings (1941), The Twenty-One Balloons (1947) and The Story of Ferdinand (1936). Junior Books was renamed to Viking Children's Books at some point in the past. It currently publishes approximately sixty titles a year.

Notable authors

Awards

Related Research Articles

Picture book book with images at least as important as words, commonly directed at children and featuring a story

A picture book combines visual and verbal narratives in a book format, most often aimed at young children. The images in picture books use a range of media such as oil paints, acrylics, watercolor, and pencil, among others. Two of the earliest books with something like the format picture books still retain now were Heinrich Hoffmann's Struwwelpeter from 1845 and Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit from 1902. Some of the best-known picture books are Robert McCloskey's Make Way for Ducklings, Dr. Seuss' The Cat In The Hat, and Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. The Caldecott Medal and Kate Greenaway Medal are awarded annually for illustrations in children's literature. From the mid-1960s several children's literature awards include a category for picture books.

Caldecott Medal Annual U. S. childrens book illustrator award

The Randolph Caldecott Medal annually recognizes the preceding year's "most distinguished American picture book for children", beginning with 1937 publications. It is awarded to the illustrator by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The Caldecott and Newbery Medals are the most prestigious American children's book awards.

William Sherman "Billy" Pène du Bois was an American writer and illustrator of books for young readers. He is best known for The Twenty-One Balloons, published in April 1947 by Viking Press, for which he won the 1948 Newbery Medal. As illustrator he was twice a runner-up for the Caldecott Medal.

Ruth Sawyer American childrens writer and storyteller

Ruth Sawyer was an American storyteller and a writer of fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. She may be best known as the author of Roller Skates, which won the 1937 Newbery Medal. She received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award in 1965 for her lifetime achievement in children's literature.

The Bodley Head is an English publishing house, founded in 1887 and existing as an independent entity until the 1970s. The name was used as an imprint of Random House Children's Books from 1987 to 2008. In April 2008, it was revived as an adult non-fiction imprint within Random House's CCV division.

Kate Seredy childrens writer

Kate Seredy was a Hungarian-born writer and illustrator of children's books. She won the Newbery Medal once, the Newbery Honor twice, the Caldecott Honor once, and Lewis Carroll Shelf Award. Most of her books were written in English, which was not her first language. Seredy seems to be unknown in her native Hungary, despite the fact that her story of the Good Master, and the sequel set in World War I are intensely about Hungary.

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Joan Baehler Bauer is an American writer of young adult literature currently residing in Brooklyn. Bauer was born in River Forest, Illinois. She settled down in New York City with her husband Doug Langham. They later became parents to one daughter, Jean. Before becoming a famous author Joan spent years working for McGraw-Hill and the Chicago Tribune. She also did some work in advertising, marketing, and screenwriting.

Kevin Henkes American childrens illustrator and writer

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Nancy Willard was an American writer: novelist, poet, author and occasional illustrator of children's books. She won the 1982 Newbery Medal for A Visit to William Blake's Inn.

Charles Boardman Hawes was an American writer of fiction and nonfiction sea stories, best known for three historical novels. He died suddenly at age 34, after only two of his five books had been published. He was the first U.S.-born winner of the annual Newbery Medal, recognizing his third novel The Dark Frigate (1923) as the year's best American children's book. Reviewing the Hawes Memorial Prize Contest in 1925, The New York Times observed that "his adventure stories of the sea caused him to be compared with Stevenson, Dana and Melville".

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Mary Buff and Conrad Buff II were married creators of illustrated children's books. Between 1937 and 1968, they collaborated on both text and illustrations to produce 14 books; four times they were a runner-up for the Caldecott Medal or Newbery Medal. They had a profound impact on children's literature in the middle of the 20th century.

Jean Edna Karl was an American book editor who specialized in children's and science fiction titles. She founded and led the children's division and young adult and science fiction imprints at Atheneum Books, where she oversaw or edited books that won two Caldecott Medals and five Newbery Medals. One of the Newberys went to the new writer E. L. Konigsburg in 1968 for From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

<i>Dead End in Norvelt</i> book by Jack Gantos

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References

  1. Kenneth T. Jackson; Lisa Keller; Nancy Flood (1995). The Encyclopedia of New York City: Second Edition. New York: Yale University Press. ISBN   978-0300055368.
  2. Egli, ed. (1975). "Viking Press Is Sold To Penguin Books". School Library Journal. 22 (4): 16.
  3. 1 2 Weber, Bruce. "Thomas Guinzburg, Paris Review Co-Founder, Dies at 84", The New York Times , September 10, 2010. Accessed September 13, 2010.
  4. "Viking Children's Books". Penguin Random House . Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  5. "Brian Tart | The Bookseller". www.thebookseller.com. Retrieved 2017-09-13.

Bean, Martha Sue. A History and Profile of the Viking Press, Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Theses, 1969.

"Viking Press, Viking Penguin", Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 46, pp. 365-368.