Carmen Callil

Scanning my bookshelves, I see a dozen or more of the distinctive green spines of Virago Press. In the late 1970s and 1980s, the Virago imprint was a guarantee of good reading by women writers whose works were rediscovered and sent out to find a new public. I had read Margaret Atwood, Rosamond Lehmann, and Elizabeth Taylor for the first time in hardcovers; Virago made them new. Kate O’ Brien’s The Land of Spices, banned in Ireland, had been hard to get. Here it was in Virago green, with a perceptive introduction to put it in context.

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Carmen Callil is Publisher of the Month

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

I put an advertisement in the London Times newspaper in 1964 or thereabouts, which stated ‘Australian BA, typing, wants job in publishing’. I got three offers and accepted one, which was being a menial for a sponsored book editor at Hutchinson’s. But my real pathway was my mother and father, both great readers; I grew up surrounded by books.

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