Bryce Milligan is not the kind of guy to rest on his laurels, or to rest, for that matter. The publisher of Wings Press in San Antonio, Tex., credits insomnia—"I run on about three hours of sleep," he told PW—with giving him time to operate the 28-year-old small press. In addition to designing and producing his annual list of about seven titles, Milligan also writes and promotes his own children's books, poetry collections, plays and historical novels, as well as working as a book critic, creative writing instructor and co-founder, with Sandra Cisneros, of the 15-year-old San Antonio Inter-American Bookfair.

This spring, Milligan is putting his near boundless energy behind Street of the Seven Angels (May), a previously unpublished third novel by journalist, photographer and writer John Howard Griffin (1920—1980), best known for Black Like Me, an account of his travels through the South disguised as a black man. By coincidence, that memoir, which has sold 10 million copies in its mass market edition since 1962, will be released for the first time in trade paperback from NAL, also in May.

Milligan describes Street of the Seven Angels as "a comedy set in Paris, about a group of women and a local priest who form a society to try to shut down a whorehouse and the bookstore. It's an anti-censorship novel." Although Griffin spent his early life in Texas, he left in his teens to study literature, medicine and music in France, and even fought in the French Resistance before joining the U.S. military. In a jacket blurb, Jonathan Kozol says he found "echoes of Gide, Flaubert, even Collette and Simenon" in the novel, which came to Milligan's attention when his friend Robert Bonazzi, the executor of Griffin's literary estate and his biographer, could not interest a large commercial press in publishing it. (Griffin's other two novels are currently out of print.)

A first printing of 5,000 copies—Milligan's largest yet—and a pub date that coincides with Texas Writers Month should help attract review attention, at least in Griffin's home state. Small Press Distribution marketing director Brent Cunningham, who handles Wings' titles, compares early interest in this book to that garnered by Snowball's Chance by John Reed, a post— 9/11 take on Animal Farm that sold well for another SPD client, Roof Books.

Undertaking Griffin's novel is one way Milligan has carried on the mission of the press's founders, poet Joanie Whitebird and Joseph Lomax. "They were dedicated to what they called 'the literature of the nation of Texas,' " said Milligan. Under Milligan's stewardship, that philosophy has translated into a Latino-oriented list and a prize for Latina poets under 30. Of Wings's 50 titles, the top sellers are a bilingual children's book, Baby Coyote and the Old Woman/ El coyotito y la viejita by poet Carmen Tafolla, and the novel Fishlight: A Dream by Cecile Pineda.