Forty Years of Original Writing
In 2013 Abacus celebrated forty years of publishing, with the reissue of 18 of our classic books with new introductions by the authors. They include a wonderfully diverse range of books – from Douglas Coupland’s Generation X to Iain Banks’ The Wasp Factory and from Tom Holland’s Rubicon to Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.
In the early days Abacus was strictly a non-fiction list with something of an ecological flavour, producing classics such as Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful and McLuhan's Touch the Earth. Primo Levi's series of masterworks, including If this is a Man, The Periodic Table and Moments of Reprieve, was soon added and a tradition of bestselling high-quality memoir was established: Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom; Gore Vidal's Palimpsest and Point to Point Navigation; and historian William Woodruff's double No. 1 bestsellers The Road to Nab End and Beyond Nab End.
Abacus were one of the first publishers of behavioural economics with the groundbreaking Malcolm Gladwell book The Tipping Point, followed by the bestselling Tim Harford Undercover Economist series. In 2009 we published Gillian Tett’s award winning work on the financial crisis, Fool’s Gold.
Our fiction publishing began with Jane Gardam, whose Old Filth was just pipped at the post for the Orange Prize. Gardam has twice won the Whitbread Novel Award, part of an excellent Whitbread record that includes Joan Brady's Book of the Year for Theory of War and Beryl Bainbridge's Novel Award for Every Man for Himself. Valerie Martin won the Orange Prize for Property, and in 2009 Simon Mawer’s The Glass Room was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. In 2011 Master Georgie was awarded The Man Booker’s ‘Best of Beryl’ prize.
In 2014 Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch became Abacus' single fastest-selling title and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
Abacus also publishes original paperback fiction and non-fiction and has had great success in this format in the area of translated crime with the likes of José Carlos Somoza (whose Athenian Murders won the CWA Gold Dagger), Guillermo Martínez, Michele Giuttari and Donato Carrisi.