The Overlook Press

About Us

The Overlook Press is an independent general-interest publisher, founded in 1971. The publishing program consists of nearly 100 new books per year, evenly divided between hardcovers and trade paperbacks. The list is eclectic, but areas of strength include interesting fiction, history, biography, drama, and design.

The house was launched by owner Peter Mayer as a home for distinguished books that had been \”overlooked\” by larger houses. At the time Mayer was at the helm of one of them, Avon, and would go on to a twenty-year tenure at Penguin, which he eventually headed as well. He joined with his father Alfred, a retired glove manufacturer, to nurture Overlook Press, supervising business from Manhattan in his off hours, while Fredy ran the upstate operation, picturesquely housed in an old apple shed on Overlook Mountain in Woodstock. Milestone books in those early years ranged from Industrial Design by Raymond Loewy and Milton Glaser\’s Graphic Design, to the medieval martial arts treatise turned business bestseller, A Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Mushashi.

The publishing formula proved reliable, and now Overlook has nearly 1000 titles in print. Our fiction includes novels by solidly commercial authors including espionage novelist Robert Littell (The Company, 90,000 sold) and international phenomenon Penny Vincenzi, whose Edwardian era family saga No Angel is widely acclaimed as stunning entertainment. We expect lightning to strike again in April 2004 with Dragon\’s Eye by Andy Oakes, a poundingly paced thriller set in modern Shanghai. In a more literary vein, there is Hash by top Swedish novelist Torgny Lindgren (unlike anything you\’ve ever read – Kirkus) and Michele Slung\’s irresistible anthology of garden writing The Garden of Reading.

History is the mainstay of our non-fiction list and notable books include Paul Cartledge\’s The Spartans, basis of a PBS documentary on this civilization and Adrienne Mayor\’s startling, intriguing Greek Fire, Poison Arrows and Scorpion Bombs: Biochemical Warfare in the Ancient World.

Another cherished mission is to revive and bring to new audiences classic books and authors. We are renowned for our stylish editions of the works of P.G. Wodehouse, as well as bringing back the beloved Freddy the Pig Series by Walter R. Brooks. We have just completed new paperback editions of fiction by Joseph Roth, one of literature\’s modern masters.

In 2002 we acquired Ardis, the premier publisher of Russian literature in English. We have given that program new presence with handsome new paperback editions of titles long unavailable. More recently the Overlook elephant has spread its wings across the Atlantic to take under new ownership the 106-year-old company Duckworth.

We proudly present the books on this site as works of outstanding quality and interest that you will enjoy reading and adding to your book collection.