I started Immigrant Press because I wanted to finish a book I was working on, which would only happen if it were to be printed. This work would then be completed and I could go on to the next literary episode.
That first book was Along the Way. Walking in Úbeda (2009), a hybrid part-town human biography, part-visitor guide, and written for hotels and bookshops to offer to visitors to the World Heritage-listed town where I’d settled. The curiosity of my fellow ubetenses has prompted a translation of the book into Spanish (forthcoming in 2017).
Local interests also determined the second house title, From the Americas to Jaén/Desde las Américas a Jaén (2011), a bilingual reader for the many young Spaniards impelled by recent economic troubles to prepare for emigration in search of work; the Hispano-Americans whose stories of migration are told in the book headed to this olive oil-producing region of southern Spain in economically better days.
The first volume on the Immigrant Library of Translation shelf, Argentine novelist Haroldo Conti’s Sudeste (1962), was the first to bring Immigrant Press to a wider audience, and a second edition took it back across the Atlantic to North America. You can find more about the story of this book on the Classics page.
The second volume brings Colombian Manuel Mejía Vallejo‘s richly narrated novel of La Violencia into English, this – as previous books – carefully prepared and printed by Gráficas La Paz of Torredonjimeno, an hour’s drive through the olive groves. Their advice on papers and binding have allowed the production of beautiful books that won’t fall apart with age – something worth paying a bit extra for when publishing a classic title.
Work on Conti’s novel took me to Buenos Aires, and then a short train ride out from Retiro station to Tigre, embarcation point for boats to the Paraná Delta where this classic novel is set. Buenos Aires is also the big city where fellow immigrant Jessica Sequeira had settled, and from where she later interviewed me as part of an extensive discussion of Conti’s work for The Boston Review.
Six months later her curiosity about Immigrant Press became an offer to join me on this independent, not-for-profit plot of land, where New Year 2016 found us in deep discussion about the larger opportunities her arrival presented.
With just two pairs of eyes between us, we decided concentrating on a shared interest in things Latin American was the best way to establish a manageable reading list; our translations will therefore show an inclination towards literature from the Americas from Argentina to México.
We have three shelves in mind, on each of which titles from distinctive imprints will be placed:
The first Immigrant Classics title has already found a transatlantic readership, the second is in print this month and a third is not far off.
We anticipate the Descendants stamp will appear on its first cover early next year.
The literary mules bearing our Collections imprint will take a bit more rounding up, but we are a small team with a determination to produce the best books we can.
Look in on us now and then to keep up to date with news of our publishing programme. You can contact us by way of the email address below.
Jon Lindsay Miles