One day, about two years ago, a nice man introduced himself and told us he was from Anansi Press, a publishing company that was soon to be moving in beside us. Not just a regular publisher, but a publisher of ‘very good books.’ That was exciting news and the beginning of a very nice relationship, which has included four ‘Beers & Books’ events so far. Now it’s the House of Anansi’s 50th anniversary and we’re helping them celebrate. Introducing the Ides of April, a cucumber blonde made to go with sunny days and very good books.
The story of Anansi starts in 1967. Alarmed by the tiny selection of Canadian-authored books published in Canada, two young writers, Dennis Lee and David Godfrey, sat down over a beer to sketch out an idea for a Canadian publishing house. House of Anansi Press was born.
Two years later, Anansi was responsible for over one-third of all English-language novels published in Canada. Over the next half century, Anansi went on to publish Margaret Atwood, Al Purdy, Roch Carrier, Michael Ondaatje, Erin Mouré, Lynn Crosbie, Sheila Heti, Lisa Moore, Rawi Hage, Zoe Whittall, Lynn Coady, Patrick deWitt, Katherena Vermette, and a host of others. Now, fifty years after that fateful evening in 1967, Canadian Literature is rich, diverse, and respected worldwide.