BookBlast™ catches up with Jen Hamilton-Emery, fiction editor and director of independent Salt publishing, based in Cromer, Norfolk.
Are (were) your parents great readers? Tell us a bit about yourself. Yes, both my parents were (and still are) readers. Every week my mum would take me to the library and a treat was a trip to a bookshop. I’ve always had books in my life.
Did you want to work in the publishing industry from the start? I’ve always loved books and reading, but working in publishing never entered my head when I was looking at career options. I left school in the early 1980s in Glasgow and knew no-one who had any involvement whatsoever in publishing. There was less of it about in those days!
Has your vision from when you started Salt 18 years ago changed? No, not really. Our vision was always to publish interesting and brilliant books that were that bit different to the mainstream. We may have shifted genres from poetry to fiction, but our aims haven’t changed.
“‘What a strange world this is,’ he said to me suddenly when the bus turned into Pulaski Street. ‘Before I’ve even had time to blink, they’re already calling me old, when inside I’m like an unripe fruit’.” – Wioletta Greg, Swallowing Mercury
Invasion, occupation, partition: Poland’s strategic location between Germany and Russia has made it a target throughout history. In 1990, after the fall of Communism, Lech Walesa became Poland’s first popularly-elected president. In 2004, Poland was one of ten new states to join the EU. Britain’s nationalist-minded tabloids make Poles the enemy, taking away jobs and homes. Post-truth politics thrive on ignorance, breeding fear and hate. We have much to thank Poland for – not least Chopin, Copernicus, Marie Curie, Joseph Conrad, Helena Rubinstein … and Häagen-Dazs ice cream!