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House of Anansi Press fonds. - 1967-1989. - 20 m of textual record.

Administrative History

House of Anansi Press, named after the African spider-god, creator, trickster and storyteller, was founded in 1967 by Dennis Lee and David Godfrey. Anansi Press is considered one of the most important literary presses to emerge in the 1960s as writer-publishers invented a national literature and pursued a political agenda. Anansi published Canadian fiction, poetry, and criticism, translations of Quebec literature, as well as non-fiction on Canadian issues. Anansi experienced success quickly with the reprint of Margaret Atwood's The Circle Game, which had won the Governor General's Literary Award for poetry in 1967. Anansi has published works by George Bowering, Roch Carrier, Michael Ignatieff, Erin Mouré, and Charles Taylor among others. Located at 671 Spadina Avenue (later at 35 Britain Street) near the Coach House Press, the presses issued a joint catalogue in 1968 and Coach House designed and printed a number of Anansi titles. In 1989, Anansi was acquired by Stoddart publishing.

Photo of Anansi Press staff

Photo of House of Anansi Press staff, 1971.

Scope and Content

The first accession of the House of Anansi Press fonds includes manuscripts and galleys, authors' correspondence, financial documents, catalogues, promotional material, posters, book jackets, negatives, and unpublished manuscripts for the first 10 years of its operation (1967-1977). The second accession covers the next 10 year period (1977-1987).

Immediate Source of Acquisition: acquired from Ann Wall, Anansi publisher in 1987 and 1989. [1988-13, 1989-16]

Language: material in the fonds is in English.

Restrictions: none.

Finding Aid: preliminary list available.

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