Ten years after Barney J. Rosset bought Grove Press, in 1951,he launched Black Cat, an imprint that published mass-market paperbacks of some of the classics of modern literature, including Henry Miller's The Tropic of Cancer (1961), William Burroughs's Naked Lunch (1962), Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth (1965), Hubert Selby's Last Exit to Brooklyn (1967), Jack Kerouac's The Subterraneans (1971), and Jean Genet's Our Lady of the Flowers (1976).
The publisher has changed a bit in the last forty years—the Black Cat line of books was cancelled in 1984, and Grove Press merged with Atlantic Monthly Press to form Grove/Atlantic in 1993. This fall, Black Cat is being brought back as an original trade paperback imprint.
Judy Hottenson, the vice president of marketing and publicity for Grove, says the new line of books will feature the kind of cutting-edge fiction that made the original Black Cat unique. But the publisher hopes the new Black Cat will appeal to a broader readership. "We're trying to do a more wide-ranging list," Hottenson says. "Not necessarily avant-garde—a little more diverse."
The debut Black Cat list offers four books of fiction. Fortune's Bastard, the second novel by Robert Chalmers, and Layer Cake by J.J. Connolly, will both be published in September. (The film adaptation of Layer Cake, from the coproducers of Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, will also be released in September.) 100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed, a memoir by Melissa P, will be published in October, and Too Weird for Ziggy, a collection of short stories by Sylvie Simmons, will be published in November.
Hottenson says Black Cat will publish four or five titles per season. For more information visit the publisher's Web site at www.groveatlantic.com.