In 1983, Algonquin Books set up shop in a woodshed behind co-founder Louis Rubin’s Chapel Hill, N.C., home. A handmade sign—”Algonquin Books Editorial; Please close the gate”—signaled the conversion from utilitarian outbuilding to literary incubator (and a plea not to let Rubin’s dogs out).
Our founding edict still holds strong: to publish quality fiction and nonfiction by undiscovered young writers, and to keep our books in print, reaching new fans for years to come. Our first list included a novel by Leon Driskell called Passing Through, whose ephemeral-sounding title launched an enterprise now in its thirty-first year.
Algonquin was acquired by Workman Publishing, one of the largest independent publishing companies in the United States. Today, we have offices in New York City and Chapel Hill. Though we publish only 20 new titles a year, we are recognized around the world as an award-winning literary house with numerous bestsellers.