Turtle Point Press is an independent publisher distinguished by books of superior literary content and elegant design. The Press has been delighting readers with new fiction, poetry, memoirs, translations, and rediscovered classics since 1990.
Over the years, Turtle Point Press books have achieved many distinctions: Trappings by poet and translator Richard Howard won a Lambda Award, Tales Out of School by Benjamin Taylor won the Harold Ribelow Award for the best Jewish novel of the year, Devin Johnston’s Sources was shortlisted for a National Book Critic’s Circle Award, and Brian O’Doherty’s novel The Deposition of Father McGreevy was shortlisted for a Man Booker Prize. In addition, Broken Irish by Edward J. Delaney and Dear Prudence: New and Selected Poems by David Trinidad were selected for several year-end Top Ten Books of the Year. What It Is Like: New and Selected Poems by Charles North was named one of the year’s best poetry books by National Public Radio.
In addition to Richard Howard, Devin Johnston, David Trinidad, and Charles North, a sampling of other poets published include Mark Strand, Wayne Koestenbaum, Anna Moschovakis, Christopher Cahill, Charles Henri Ford, and Howard Altmann. Turtle Point has published the letters of New York School Poet James Schuyler, as well as co-published with the Academy of American Poets, Hanging Loose Press, and Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Amongst the Press’s long list of beloved authors, two standout favorites are always mentioned: Julien Gracq and Lord Berners, writers who are polar opposites in every conceivable way, whose work represents the seriousness and the levity of this entire publishing enterprise. In an obituary of Julien Gracq (1910–2007) that appeared in The Independent, James Kirkup called Gracq “the last of the great universal writers.”
Lord Berners (1883–1950) was one of the most flamboyant personalities of his day. A composer, writer, painter, and eccentric (famous for dying his pigeons into rainbow hues), he knew everyone in the world of the arts and society in the first half of the twentieth century. The Press is so devoted to the whimsical fiction and amusingly candid autobiographies of this colorful figure that excerpts of Lord Berners can be found in a special section here.
Jonathan D. Rabinowitz founded Turtle Point Press with a commitment to publish forgotten literary fiction, as well as unique and eminently readable contemporary literary writers. Robert Leiter’s profile of Rabinowitz and the Press’s founding offers an extensive history and commentary on this “extraordinary line of books.” More here.
For many years, the Press’s two imprints, Jeannette Watson’s Books & Co. and the eponymous Helen Marx Books, together with Turtle Point formed a “trio of literary partners,” as featured by Celia McGee in a delightful telling here.
Today, longtime Turtle Point editor and associate Ruth Greenstein has taken the reins with a commitment to carrying on the Press’s tradition of fine publishing. Founding publisher Jonathan D. Rabinowitz stays on as editor-at-large. On the horizon, future titles will introduce more women writers and west coast writers, and broaden the largely French international line to literary fiction and nonfiction that spans the globe.