A World of Letters: Yale University Press, 1908-2008 by Nicholas A. Basbanes

By Nicholas A. Basbanes

For Yale collage Press, which celebrates its hundredth birthday in 2008, the century has been an eventful one, punctuated without few surprises. the click has released greater than 8,000 volumes over the years, rankings of bestsellers and award-winners between them, and those books have come to fruition throughout the efforts of a bunch of colourful authors, editors, administrators, board participants, and others of highbrow and literary renown.

With an ear constantly cocked for an enticing story, one in all today’s most sensible storytellers provides an anecdote-rich chronicle of the Press’s first a hundred years. Nicholas Basbanes, whom David McCullough has referred to as “the top authority of books approximately books,” quick convinces us that the Press’s heritage, whereas bookish, is usually vigorous and interesting. Basbanes explores the saga at the back of the purchase of Eugene O’Neill’s blockbuster play, the all time Yale bestseller Long Day’s trip into Night; the talk sparked in 1965 via e-book of The Vinland Map; the origins of the groundbreaking Annals of Communism sequence, initiated within the wake of the Soviet Union’s death; and plenty of extra highlights from Press annals. Basbanes seems to be on the purposes in the back of the publisher’s extraordinary monetary good fortune, and he completes A international of Letters with a glimpse on the new tasks that may propel the clicking right into a moment intriguing century.

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Extra info for A World of Letters: Yale University Press, 1908-2008

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Here is what O’Neill had written, and what his wife had missed: “God bless you, Kid. (His eyes close. ” The very evening of that discovery, March delivered the recovered line on stage, and it has remained in every production since. By the time the sixty-first printing came around in 1989, another major correction had been discovered by textual scholars, this one clarifying the drug addiction of O’Neill’s mother with the restoration of these lines: “It’s a special kind of medicine. ” For the play’s golden anniversary as a Yale title, a new paperback edition 46 t h e f or m at i v e dec ade s featuring bright new cover art was issued.

Gallup chose to go directly to the source—the playwright’s holographic manuscript, and not the typescript copied from the original by Carlotta, which had been used for the play. His discovery of a dropped line proved exceedingly significant. Here is what O’Neill had written, and what his wife had missed: “God bless you, Kid. (His eyes close. ” The very evening of that discovery, March delivered the recovered line on stage, and it has remained in every production since. By the time the sixty-first printing came around in 1989, another major correction had been discovered by textual scholars, this one clarifying the drug addiction of O’Neill’s mother with the restoration of these lines: “It’s a special kind of medicine.

The University of Texas Press, meanwhile, had a best seller in 1977 with The Book of Merlyn by T. H. White, the fifth book of the Arthurian epic; One Writer’s Beginnings, a charming memoir of growing up in Mississippi by the great Southern writer Eudora Welty, made its way onto the New York Times Best-Seller List shortly after its release in 1984 by Harvard University Press. A true oddity among scholarly imprints was the publication in 1974 by the University of Alabama Press of Storyville, New Orleans: Being an Authentic, Illustrated Account of the Notorious Red-Light District, by Al Rose, not so much for the saucy nature of the subject matter, but for the fact that the 38 t h e f or m at i v e dec ade s work became the basis of Louis Malle’s 1978 film, Pretty Baby, starring Brooke Shields, David Carradine, and Susan Sarandon.

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