Persephone Books

I've long been a fan of British publisher and bookseller Persephone Books. With a store front in London's Bloomsbury, and 122 titles and counting on their catalogue, they've been rescuing mid-century authors (mostly women) from obscruity since 1998, re-printing forgotten gems and nestling them between Persephone's distinctive grey covers. The end papers are gorgeous and each book comes with a unique bookmark. If you like beautiful books, these ones are for you.

And if all you care about is story and prose, these books are for you too. Discovering authors like Dorothy Whipple, Mollie Panter-Downes, and Diana Gardner I've been both impressed and dismayed. Persephone only publishes top notch work and it's difficult to believe these writers would have been forgotten if they were men. In undergrad I took a class called Modern British Fiction. We read a book a week - a dozen in total - and only two were written by women. It's infuriating to think of how thoroughly and purposefully women writers have been shut out of the canon.

Repeat after me: FUCK THE PATRIARCHY.

If you're in London, check them out in person. Alternately, you can order books online. For short fiction, I recommend everything by Mollie Panter-Downes. For novels, I like Dorothy Whipple, especially They Were Sisters and Someone at a Distance. And if you are teaching an English class, please do your students a favour and diversify the reading list.