Jorge Herralde to receive The London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award 2012

LONDON, 23 February — The London Book Fair is pleased to announce that the ninth annual Lifetime Achievement Award in International Publishing, in association with the Publishers Association, will be awarded to Jorge Herralde, proprietor and director of Editorial Anagrama.

Jorge is widely considered to be one of the best literary publishers in the Hispanic world.

Jorge Herralde released his first title under Editorial Anagrama in 1969. Anagrama has published an impeccable list of award-winning Spanish and Latin American writers from Roberto Bolaño, Álvaro Pombo, Rafael Chirbes, Javier Marías, Enrique Vila-Matas, Ricardo Piglia, and Sergio Pitol. Jorge has also translated and introduced many influential foreign writers to a Spanish speaking audience, including Vladimir Nabokov, Truman Capote, Jack Kerouac, Raymond Carver, Richard Ford, Paul Auster, Jeffrey Eugenides, P.G. Wodehouse, Evelyn Waugh, Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes, Kazuo Ishiguro, Hanif Kureishi, Georges Perec, Patrick Modiano, Claudio Magris, Roberto Calasso, Antonio Tabucchi, Alessandro Baricco, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, W.G. Sebald, Arundhati Roy, and Kenzaburo Oe.

Jorge has been awarded an OBE and Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Jorge Herralde said: “I feel happily surprised and honoured to accept this prize from The London Book Fair, previously awarded to such eminent colleagues. I started to publish the first titles in 1969 with the idea of exploring unknown paths in Spain, at that time under the censorship of Franco, aiming to assemble the most relevant authors in our catalogue, new voices we have often accompanied in the course of their careers, as well as established authors or neglected classics. Needless to say that the authors are the protagonists of the prize, but so are the many collaborators who have accompanied Anagrama’s trajectory.

I would say that publishing allows me to explore, to discover, to bet, to share pleasure and enthusiasm; to practice a variety of mental gymnastics; to get on a roller coaster and other attractions from time to time; to follow the exciting metamorphosis from manuscript to book. And all along the journey, “to write” a particular roman fleuve: Anagrama’s catalogue.”

Richard Ford, novelist and short story writer, said: “What’s always thrilled me is Jorge’s unpredictably diverse taste as a publisher of the world’s literature. I suppose it’s a matter of his immense confidence – confidence that his judgment, like any great artist’s, is an instrument of literature’s best aspiration. For those of us “foreign” writers unaccountably lucky enough to be “his” writers, he has helped complete our highest aspiration; namely, to make imaginative writing (local when it begins) exceed the boundaries of place and language and culture, and to speak frankly to whomever it meets. For these reasons, and so many more, he’s our hero.”

Alastair Burtenshaw, Director, The London Book Fair, said: “Editorial Anagrama is a bastion of publishing excellence, combining quality with a real drive to identify undiscovered literary talent. Jorge Herralde has maintained the highest standards of literary excellence in both his native Spanish and in his immaculately translated foreign works. Jorge has worked ceaselessly to promote the international reputation of Hispanic literature, which has in turn been invigorated by the peerless collection of foreign authors translated for the first time for Spanish readers. We are proud to be awarding to him The London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award for 2012.”

The London Book Fair’s Advisory Board, comprising senior figures in the international publishing industry, voted on Jorge Herralde after debating the merits of a shortlist of international publishing figures.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognises an individual who has made a truly significant mark in the sphere of global publishing. It is open to publishers, agents, editors, scouts and anyone else involved in international publishing from any country in the world. The award has previously been presented to Lord Weidenfield, Weidenfield and Nicolson, Christopher MacLehose, now of MacLehose Press, John Lyon of Little, Brown (posthumously), Lynette Owen of Pearson Education, Peter Mayer of The Overlook Press/ Duckworth Publishers, Drenka Willen, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Antoine Gallimard, Éditions Gallimard, and last year Sonny Mehta of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

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