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Ellen Adler, publisher at Wall Street-based The New Press (TNP) is Publishing Weekly’s 2021 Person of the Year. The magazine notes: ‘Since its launch in 1992, The New Press has been ahead of the publishing curve in a number of important ways, including in finding and publishing future award-winning authors early in their careers and in committing to building a diverse staff and publishing a wide range of voices. The non-profit is also completing another strong sales year after having a record-breaking 2020.’
The magazine acknowledges Adler’s role in guiding the press through a challenging period, with the twin issues of Covid and pressures from various authorities to ban some of its titles.
The New Press describes itself as championing ‘progressive voices for a more inclusive, just, and equitable world. As a non-profit public-interest publisher, we leverage books, diverse voices, and media engagement to facilitate social change, enrich public discourse, and defend democratic values’.
“We’ve had so many books banned, I can’t count them all,” Adler told the magazine, noting that The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander is currently on the list of books that Texas officials are trying to ban.
The New Press is a book publisher ‘with a social justice mission’ and prides itself on being a home ‘for the nation’s leading progressive thinkers, journalists, scholars, political leaders, and activists’.
Adler began her career as a production duction editor at Knopf before moving to the Dial Press and Doubleday. She says: “I never imagined I would have the good fortune to end up at a place like The New Press.” She was named deputy director of TNP in 2003.
Her work and that of the publisher are acknowledged in the indie community in the States. Michael Reynolds, editor-in-chief at Europa Editions, comments: “Ellen’s tireless advocacy on behalf of independent publishing, her humour, and her great generosity make her an irreplaceable colleague and an invaluable friend,” He says that many of TNP’s social justice and progressive policy books have become “essential reading,” and adds: “I can think of no greater accolade than that for a publisher.”