Strange Victories: Grove Press, 1951-1985 is a major exhibition about the Grove Press currently on at the Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library in Syracuse.
Grove was founded by Barney Rosset in 1951 and is one of the great twentieth-century avant-garde publishing houses. It’s credited with having introduced many important international authors to American readers during the postwar period.
The exhibition traces the history of the Press from its involvement in national censorship trials, to publication of politically-engaged works such as The Wretched of the Earth, Red Star over China, and The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and the scandalous and very profitable, “Victorian Library.” Grove not only challenged social mores, and equality rights and freedom of expression laws, it also “aggressively deployed savvy marketing strategies, became embroiled in labor union battles, floundered in its own success, and offended the sensibilities of not only “squares,” but feminists, Marxists, academics, and many others. Strange Victories tells the complicated story of Grove’s many literary and political achievements, whose profound influence on American culture endures today.”
I met recently with co-curator Lucy Mulroney to talk about Grove Press and the exhibition. Please listen here: