In celebration of Pride, June’s “Publisher Spotlight” posts will feature publishers of LGBTQ+ literature in English-language translation. This week, we will explore titles by academic publisher University of Minnesota Press.
Since its founding in 1925, University of Minnesota Press has been a beacon of scholarly writing in the humanities and social sciences. Later, literature was added to the press’ near-century of backlist, creating an incredibly diverse catalog of memoir, theory, prose, poetry, and—of course—global translations.
University of Minnesota Press publishes an impressive array of international titles. The publishing team’s genre interests range from native Siberian anthologies (Way of Kinship) to Portuguese poetry collections (The Songs of António Botto). I became familiar with the press’ translations a few years back while wandering the shelves of Elliott Bay Book Company. I was looking for new releases from Japan, and a phenomenal bookseller recommended Twelve Views from the Distance. The book nerd in me would have bought this cream-colored memoir simply for the beautifully-embossed cover, but it was author Mutsuo Takahashi’s lyrical style that captured my attention.
Twelve Views from the Distance follows the events of Takashi’s childhood, unveiling significant moments in his pre-WWII boyhood that eventually led to his prize-winning career as an openly gay poet, essayist, and writer. His beloved memoir was blurbed by none other than novelist Yukio Mishima, who said that Takahashi “…managed to achieve firm prose that, while unmistakably the work of a poet, shines with a black luster much like a set of drawers crafted by a master of old.” Twelve Views from the Distance is a gorgeous book from cover to text, and exemplifies University of Minnesota Press’ devotion to releasing stunningly-designed and superbly-written LGBTQ+ books from around the world.
Additional international LGBTQ+ titles by the publisher include, but are not limited to:
- Pubis Angelical, written by Argentinian author Manuel Puig and translated by Elena Brunet
- The Songs of António Botto, written by António Botto and translated by Fernando Pessoa
- Tongzhi Living: Men Attracted to Men in Postsocialist China, written by Tiantian Zheng
For information about University of Minnesota Press’ beginnings, read the “About” page excerpt below:
The University of Minnesota Press is recognized internationally for its innovative, boundary-breaking editorial program in the humanities and social sciences and as publisher of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), the most widely used objective tests of personality in the world. Minnesota also maintains as part of its mission a strong commitment to publishing books on the people, history, and natural environment of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. Established in 1925, Minnesota is among the founding members of the Association of American University Presses (AAUP).
Learn more about the history of the press by clicking here.
Interested in exploring UMP’s online catalog? Click here to discover the press’ global titles.
By Chelsey Slattum