Vale Carmen Callil, founder of Virago Press (1938-2022)

A sad loss but what a creative person!

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

One of the most significant publishers of my lifetime died in London yesterday.

Born and educated in Melbourne, Dame Carmen Thérèse Callil, DBE, FRSL (1938 – 2022) was the founder of Virago Press in 1973.  She was a champion of women’s writing and published some of the most important writers of our age such as Angela Carter, Maya Angelou and Margaret Atwood while also bringing back into print a backlist of authors such as Antonia White, Willa Cather,  and Rebecca West.

Virago covers were always distinctive — I can pick them out on my paperback shelves in an instant just by the cover of the spine.  They featured superb art works such as the detail from ‘Carolina Morning‘ by Edward Hopper on the cover of Their Eyes were Watching God.  All the titles I have also have insightful introductions such as the one by Drusilla Modjeska for Winged…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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