Barney Rossett, owner of Grove Press, publisher of the Evergreen Review, and hero of my early adolescence is dead at 89 (Feb 23, 2012). When I was 13 I found the Evergreen Review. Under its influence (it was a literary magazine) I found the influential writers in my life. Perhaps some of its contents were over my head but I read on with the conviction that something there was very important to the development of my life. I certainly understood “Lady Chatterly’s Lover.”
I will say that, indirectly, Barney Rossett was the most influential person in my life. He published magic like a pied piper and I followed picking up every precious morsel. – Carlos
Death of a pioneer of avant-garde literature publishing
Grove published Evergreen Review, a literary magazine whose March-April 1960 edition includes work by Albert Camus, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bertolt Brecht, and LeRoi Jones, as well as Edward Albee‘s first play, The Zoo Story.
Grove published French avant-garde of the era, including Alain Robbe-Grillet, Jean Genet, and Eugène Ionesco; most of the American Beats of the 1950s, including Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg; and poets associated with Black Mountain and the San Francisco Renaissance such as Robert Duncan.
In 1954 Grove published Samuel Beckett‘s play Waiting for Godot after it was refused by more mainstream publishers. Since then it has been Beckett’s U.S. publisher. In 2006 Grove published an anniversary bilingual edition of Waiting for Godot and a special four-volume edition of Beckett’s works, with commissioned introductions byEdward Albee, J. M. Coetzee, Salman Rushdie, and Colm Tóibín, to commemorate his centenary (April 2006).
Grove is also the U.S. publisher of the works of Harold Pinter; in 2006 it published a collection called The Essential Pinter, which includes Pinter’s Nobel Lecture, entitled “Art, Truth & Politics.”
Grove is also the exclusive United States publisher of the unabridged complete works of the Marquis de Sade. In addition, Grove publishes Japanese authors, such as Kenzaburo Oe. He died Tuesday in New York City. He was 89. His daughter, Tansey Rosset, said he died after undergoing surgery to replace a heart valve.