New year, new stores

Display of Gladstone Press books and mugs at Books on Beechwood in Ottawa, ON

Happy New Year! (This will be the last time I start any message that way. Until next year. I promise.) Over the past few months, the number of stores now stocking Gladstone Press titles has exploded, so I haven’t been able to keep up with it in the News section here. So if you have been checking this section for a store near you, may I suggest trying this Where To Buy page instead?

Some highlights:

The latest stores to stock my titles are in BC. In Sechelt, you can find all of the books at Talewind Books, and Mosaic Books in Kelowna now stocks Gladstone Press. (I loved browsing this store when I visited Kelowna.)

In Toronto, three Book City locations now stock my books. (Shout out to the Beaches location, which is near where my mom grew up.) And the gorgeous U of T Bookstore on their St. George campus has added Gladstone Press titles to their extensive selection of classics. (If you can, go in and gaze at that ceiling. It’s astonishing.)

In Ottawa, Octopus Books and Books on Beechwood stock all titles. Bonus: Books on Beechwood ALSO stocks all three Gladstone Press mugs (including the elusive Wuthering Heights edition).

There are a LOT more stores – just check out the Where to Buy page. If your local bookstore isn’t listed, you can always phone or visit in person, then ask them to order in one of my titles. They will happily ship in the book for you without charging you shipping costs.

Over the next few months I aim to post here about upcoming titles, bits of trivia, and events that may interest you. But for now, I’m in the midst of proofreading my spring titles (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen! The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford!). So, patience, and stay tuned!

The Age of Innocence in the NYT

To describe the world more fully is to change it. To let the world go undescribed is, in some way, not to know it, at one’s own peril. ‘The Age of Innocence’ opens in ‘a kind of hieroglyphic world, where the real thing was never said or done or even thought, but only represented by a set of arbitrary signs.’ In the course of the novel, Wharton puts those ‘real things’ into thought and writing….In a way, every age is an age of innocence, because every age has its own unsaid, half-known truths, which are articulated more clearly over time. Even after the particular circumstances described in a novel have vanished, we can still recognize ourselves and our lives in them.

Elif Batuman wrote about Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence for last week’s Sunday NYT Books section. Lovely stuff.

Interview on All Lit Up

It’s not easy to find the right symbol, much less find a lesser-used symbol: if you look at other editions of The Scarlet Letter, the vast majority use the red ‘A.’ It’s impossible to avoid using it, really, so I did use the red ‘A’ – but in the title itself and on a red background, so it is invisible. I’m just trying to find ways to make a person stop, think, and reevaluate this book. Perhaps these symbols intrigue them enough to get them to read.

I was interviewed about Gladstone Press’s mandate, how the designs happen, etc. on All Lit Up’s blog. You can read it here.

The Scarlet Letter in Quill & Quire

View of a stack of copies of the Gladstone Press edition of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter is particularly germane for anyone looking around at contemporary America and wondering how it got to this point. Though the story may be fanciful – Hawthorne called it a “romance” – it is nonetheless based in the reality of its day. Outside of the four central characters, Paulson points out, every named figure in the novel is a real historical personage. “He wanted it to work as a moral tale,” Paulson says. “But he also didn’t want anyone to think that he had made up anything else that was just so weird about the Massachusetts Bay colony.”

– Steven W. Beattie, Quill & Quire Omni, August 29, 2019

I talked with Steven W. Beattie at Quill & Quire about why I’m publishing The Scarlet Letter now, how it relates to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and what’s with the missing ‘A’ (I’ll let you in on a secret: it’s not really missing, it’s just the same colour as the background). You can find the article here [subscriber only] .

First Anniversary Party in The Toronto Star

One year anniversary party for Gladstone Press, held at Type Books in Toronto

Deborah Dundas, The Star’s books editor, dropped by the first anniversary party for Gladstone Press (held at my go-to book store, Type Books on Queen Street West in Toronto – thank you for everything you do to support my wee press!). Even though the article says otherwise, I was too nervous to drink before giving my speech, so I was holding sparkling water. The wine followed soon after the speech… You can read about our conversation here.

A Q&A with Maryam Siddiqi in The Globe and Mail

Title page interior design for the Gladstone Press edition of Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

The act could be considered brazen or brave (or both): launching an independent publishing house in 2018 that focuses on classic titles, but with a modern reader in mind. But Ingrid Paulson, who’s been in the book industry for 20 years, primarily as an art director, knows what it takes to catch a prospective reader’s eye.

I talked with Maryam Siddiqi at The Globe and Mail about starting Gladstone Press, what thought goes into the design of these covers, and design in general. You can read it here [for subscribers].

Mrs Dalloway on Pickle Me This

Full cover for the Gladstone Press edition of Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

And when I heard that Mrs. Dalloway would be the first of their 2019 releases, I was ecstatic, because I love this book, a book I’ve returned to several times since I first learned to read Virginia Woolf (for me, it was not instinctual) twenty years ago when I was an undergraduate. It’s funny, because while I like to read in a stream of literary consciousness, the act of actually reading stream-of-consciousness is not my ideal. Because it’s hard and you have to pay attention and nothing’s fastened you to the plot so you have to do all that work yourself.
But I can do it with Woolf, with Mrs. Dalloway. Not getting too caught up in the details, letting the atoms fall where they may. It takes practice, and confidence, and patience, but I find it so rewarding. And easier too in a book that’s brand-spanking new, with a map even…

Squee! Spine love! Kerry Clare of Pickle Me This wrote about the design for Mrs Dalloway! You can read it here.