The Pleasure Of Small Presses

Sometimes (many times) it pays to be published by a small press. Take Lauri Anderson (Nigeria 1965-67) His novel, Hunting Hemingway’s Trout was first published by the well known New York publisher,  Athenaeum. But since that edition came and went, he has been published by the small Minnesota press, North Star. They are a legitimate small press who do not give advances but do pay royalties. They also keep all of his books in print and have gone back to print with his most popular books. 

Several of his books are used in literature classes at various universities and two, those set in Misery Bay, were woven into a film that was shown on prime-time TV in Finland.  Many of his characters are Finnish because Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is full of Finns and the town where he grew up in northern Maine also had a lot of Finns,  including his father.  As Laurie writes, “My writing career has been disappointing monetarily but gratifying in that I’ve been a writing guest at conferences and universities and I have some groupies, though they tend to be 70 or thereabouts.”

“It’s an odd vocation,” he sums up, “as I’m sure you know.”

I know, but it is more than an odd vocation; it’s a calling.

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