In this festschrift for a celebrated German publisher's 60th birthday are gathered writings and appreciations from numerous prominent literary figures, including James Baldwin, John Dos Passos, Henry Miller, Claude Gallimard, and Jürgen Becker. Baldwin's reminiscence begins, charmingly, with: ""Ledig impressed me, first of all, as not seeming very much like a publisher...". In various languages: German, English, French.
Hardcover. Paper binding and slipcase by Verlagsbuchbinderei Ladstetter, Hamburg. Frontispiece after a handwritten original by Henry Miller. Quarto 27x20 cm; 126 pages; paper over boards with original matched paper slipcase, no jacket in the original. Good condition. On laid paper with watermark. ~20 photographic illustrations on plates. Unmarked, potentially unread. Binding tight. Shelf wear to case, slight crushing on top of binding. Condition: good.
A loose dedication slip before the front pastedown reads "Zum 60. Geburtstag Heinrich Maria Ledig-Rowohlts überreicht von seinem Verlag" ("For the 60th birthday of HMLR presented by his publisher"). Who was this man? From an obituary in The New York Times: "Heinrich Maria Ledig-Rowohlt, an illegitimate child who grew up to learn that his father was a prominent German publisher and who eventually took over the company . . . . was fond of telling his life story. It was a Dickensian tale, replete with the unknown father, the belated reunion, the devastation of their business by war, the company's rebirth and his ultimate success in literary circles."
During HMLR's tenure as Publisher of Rowohlt Verlag, the company specialized in American, French and other foreign authors, including Ernest Hemingway, Harper Lee, Philip Roth, Thomas Pynchon, Toni Morrison, Sinclair Lewis, William Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus and Vaclav Havel.