feminist publishing houses

feminist publishing houses
   Feminist presses are not that new: the first, Victoria Press, was founded by Emily Faithfull in 1860. In terms of recent presses, Virago was established in 1978 by Carmen Callil, who had previously worked for several London publishers and who, in 1982, joined Chatto & Windus as publishing director and joint managing director, taking Virago with her. The aims of Virago were twofold: to recuperate good but out-of-print titles (mainly fiction) by women, and to promote new women’s writing. Callil, an Australian, was in this respect capitalizing on and catering for the new markets engendered by the women’s movement of the 1960s and 1970s (the establishment of the firm was celebrated/ satirized in Fay Weldon’s television script Big Women, which was made into a Channel 4 serial in 1998). Other major publishers have been Pandora (which closed in 1990) and The Women’s Press, while Onlywomen Press and Sheba have published writing by working-class, black and lesbian women.
   PETER CHILDS

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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