John Calder, the namesake and owner of the British publisher Calder Publications, recently announced that he plans to retire and sell the rights to publish the company’s books, which include the British copyrights to many of Samuel Beckett’s novels. Beckett, the poet, novelist, and playwright who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969, died in 1989. His novels, which were published in the United States by Grove Press, include The Unnamable (1958), Malone Dies (1956), and Molloy (1955).
Calder, who started the company in 1949, published the work of nineteen Nobel Prize laureates, as well as books by William Burroughs and Henry Miller. Faber and Faber, which owns the British rights to most of Beckett’s plays, is considered the likeliest candidate to acquire the rights. Approximately fifty years ago, Faber and Faber had the chance to publish Beckett’s novels but turned them down because it found them too erotic.