In the early 1930s, most publishers thought the market for quality books was limited to a handful of elite readers. Allen Lane, then managing director of the Bodley Head, a British publishing company, had other ideas. He was convinced that there was a need for modestly-priced editions of good-quality contemporary writing. In July 1935, he revolutionized publishing with the introduction of the first ten Penguin paperbacks.
Today, more than 80 years later, more than 600 million paperbacks are sold annually worldwide and the Penguin logo is the most recognized of any book publisher in the world. Penguin has long been committed to great fiction, biography, memoir, history, science, business, psychology, popular reference, poetry, self-help, and more, publishing a list as stimulating and diverse as readers themselves.
The Penguin list continues to grow, to embrace new writers, and to keep in print the works of some of the world’s most important authors. Readers’ needs and tastes change, and Penguin has evolved along with them while maintaining quality and distinction, and representing what is fresh, contemporary, and bestselling in paperbacks.
Penguin Canada, founded in 1974, publishes works by Scotiabank Giller Prize winners Joseph Boyden, Johanna Skibsrud, Will Ferguson and includes works by luminaries Zadie Smith, Alice Munro, Margaret MacMillan, John Ralston Saul, Philip Roth, John le Carré, Adrienne Clarkson, Guy Gavriel Kay, Angela Liddon, Stuart McLean, Khaled Hosseini, Kim Echlin and Roberto Bolaño, among many others.