Coming in July 2011: The Neversink Library

Melville House Publishing, which succeeded in bringing the works of the German novelist Hans Fallada from deep dark neglect into the bright lights of bookshop display tables in 2009 with the publication of Every Man Dies Alone, will launch a new series devoted to long-out-of-print titles–The Neversink Library–in July 2011. The series, named after a ship in Melville’s early novel, White-Jacket, “champions books from around the world that have been overlooked, underappreciated, looked askance at, or foolishly ignored.” Which sounds pretty much like what this site does.

The series will start with a total of 8 titles, each published in a distinctive two-color cover design featuring silhouettes–the work of art director Christopher King. Two of the titles–The Train and The President— continues the rediscovery of the works of Georges Simenon started by NYRB Classics, which has published eleven of his novels so far.

It will also include The Eternal Philistine, by the Austro-Hungarian writer, Ödön von Horváth, a contemporary of Fallada’s better known to English-speaking audiences as a playwright. The last time one of von Horváth’s novels was published in English was 1978, when his allegory of Nazism, The Age of the Fish, came out in U.S. paperback with a truly wretched cover that helps one appreciate the elegant simplicity of Mr. King’s designs.

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