Coffee House Press is launching its first imprint in the spring of 2016. The Minneapolis literary nonprofit is partnering with Brooklyn-based feminist publishing project Emily Books to launch its Emily Books imprint, which will focus on “original books that speak to the aesthetic excellence, experimental boldness, and social concerns of both organizations.” The debut release under the Emily Books imprint is Jade Sharma’s debut novel, Problems.
Through the arrangement, Coffee House will publish two Emily Books titles each year, in both print and electronic formats. Emily Books' founders, Emily Gould and Ruth Curry, will handle acquisitions and editing.
Gould, a well-known blogger, attracted attention in literary spheres last year after responding to a vituperative verbal attack upon her, and other female bloggers, made by by another blogger, Ed Champion. She is also the author of the 2014 novel Friendship (Farrar Straus and Giroux). Curry is a writer and editor who also interned at Coffee House, more than a decade ago, when she was still an undergraduate at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. She currently works as a contracts manager at Oxford University Press.
Emily Books was founded in 2011 by Gould and Curry as a hybrid book club/bookstore/publisher. Subscribers to the service automatically receive a book each month; all of the picks also are available a la carte. Past picks have included books by Ann Rower, Virginie Despentes, Eileen Myles, Ellen Willis, Samantha Irby, Tamara Faith Berger, and Imogen Binnie. The company has also brought back into circulation--releasing e-books editions of works that either lacked an electronic edition, or were out of print--a number of titles, most notably Heather Lewis’ Notice.
The focus of the Emily Books’s list, according to the company's website, is on “transgressive writers of the past, present and future, with an emphasis on the writing of women, trans and queer people, writing that blurs genre distinctions and is funny, challenging and provocative.”
Coffee House publisher Chris Fischbach said he has been a fan of Emily Books from the start. “I admire the bravery [the] project has demonstrated,” he noted, adding that he especially appreciates the "variety and the adventurousness of the books." Fischbach said he therefore expects "the books they choose for their imprint will be just as adventurous as the books for their book club.”
“We’re thrilled to work with Coffee House, which published one of our most popular Emily Books picks, Emily Carter Roiphe’s amazing Glory Goes and Gets Some,” Gould said in a release. “Their sensibility and ours are a perfect match.”
Fischbach told PW that the seed for the Emily Books imprint began during a “long” conversation between him and Curry almost a year ago, and that Gould and Curry plan to eventually launch their own press. “Until then,” he said, “Coffee House will provide a home for them.”