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MORE THAN 43 YEARS OF IDEAS AND ADVENTURES

     L&PM Editores was founded on August 24, 1974 by Paulo de Almeida Lima and Ivan Pinheiro Machado. The publishing house was organized for the launching of the book Rango 1 [a Brazilian slang equivalent to ‘grub’, or just ‘food’ or ‘meal’ *], by the drawer and cartoonist Edgar Vasques. It was the time of dictatorship, previous censoring and persecution to oppositionists of the regime initiated by the military coup of 1964.

     Rango, a character of wide repercussion in the newspapers of the time, represented misery and those persecuted by the military regime. Barely tolerated by such regime, Rango was hit by censorship and, in that same year of 1974, the publishers had to show themselves at the Federal Police, so as to make proof that Rango 1 was a book, not a magazine. In the dictatorship’s days, the registration of periodical publications, such as newspapers and magazines, with the Censorship Department, was mandatory. The publication of books was on account and risk of the publisher, and the seizure of books considered “subversive” was very frequent.

     L&PM was absolved by the forewords of the great Erico Verissimo, that started like this: “I recommend this book with the greatest enthusiasm”. The censors had to believe it really was a book. Rango 1 was a success that opened the way for L&PM Editores to appear like a medium of democratic resistance to the military system.

     [* Titles in English here are a free translation just to give the reader an idea on the original title, not the official titles, as works have not been translated yet.]

 

PERSECUTION ALONG THE MILITARY REGIME

     Those were the times when the texts of senators Paulo Brossard and Pedro Simon, and deputy Teotônio Vilela, who among many other politicians, represented the voices that fought the system. Still in the 1970s the publishing house began enjoying a national visibility, for besides the political texts it began publishing some of the great Brazilian authors like Millôr Fernandes, Josué Guimarães, the cartoonist and plastic artist Caulos, Luis Fernando Verissimo, Moacyr Scliar, Sérgio Caparelli, among others. In 1978 we had published Memórias de um revolucionário [Memories of a Revolutionary], organized by historian Hélio Silva, who has published the memories of the “repentant” commander Olympio Mourão Filho. The book exposed the ups and downs of the military coup of 1964, depicting a devastating portrait of the military chiefs, like generals Costa e Silva and Médici, both former presidents. The six thousand copies edition of that book was seized by the Federal Police and released one year later, after a true legal battle won by lawyer Antonio Pinheiro Machado Netto. Once released by the justice of Rio Grande do Sul, Memórias [Memories] became a great best-seller. Hélio Silva, the organizer of Mourão Filho’s polemical book, is the author of the famous Ciclo de Vargas [The Vargas Cycle], a series of 18 volumes detailing all the modern brazilian history, from the proclamation of the Republic to the 1964 coup d’état, republished by L&PM in 2003 onwards, and now also available in pocket format.

A RESPECTABLE CATALOGUE

Edgar Vasques, Moacyr Scliar, L. F. Verissimo e Josué Guimarães, em foto tirada após o final do livro Pega prá kapputt, obra coletiva publicada em 1978 (foto de Assis Hofmann)

     Starting by the end of the 1970s and the early 1980s, L&PM went on publishing the works of Luis Fernando Verissimo with Ed Mort, in 1979. Then in 1981 there was the great boom of O analista de Bagé [The Analyst from Bagé], the most successful book in the decade. Luis Fernando Verissimo remained with L&PM until 2001, and has published a total of 36 books here. Still by the end of the 1970s L&PM’s editorial project gained the works by Moacyr Scliar with O exército de um homem só [The One-Man Army], Mario Quintana with Esconderijos do tempo [Hideways of Time] (illustrated by Vitório Gheno), A vaca e o hipogrifo [The Cow and the Hypogryphon], and the republishing of Pé de pilão [Pestle-Footed] (illustrated by Edgar Koetz).

In a short time L&PM Editores would gather one of the most respected and envied catalogues among brazilian publishing houses, with authors like those mentioned, besides Sergio Faraco (who 20 years later would become a great collaborator in the project that implemented the L&PM POCKET Collection), Luiz Antonio de Assis Brasil, Marcos Rey, João Antônio, Dalton Trevisan, Roberto Bittencourt Martins, José Antonio Pinheiro Machado, José Carlos Oliveira, Pepe Escobar, Tarik de Souza, Caio Fernando Abreu, Carlos Nejar, Nei Duclós, Fernando Gabeira, Darcy Ribeiro, Tabajara Ruas, Paulo Perdigão, Roberto Muggiati, Armindo Trevisan, José Fogaça, Ziraldo, Jô Soares, Eric Nepomuceno, Antônio Carlos Resende, João Gilberto Noll, Carlos Chagas, Carlos Reverbel, Marcos Sá Correa, Reinaldo Moraes, Jorge Mautner, Carlos Chagas, Roberto Piva, Eduardo Bueno, Celia Ribeiro, among so many other authors. Many of them are with us until today, and Millôr Fernandes’ publishing and translation/adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, in 2006, is a landmark for the acclaimed author’s 30 years in L&PM’s catalogue; his first book in the publishing house was Devora-me ou te decifro [You Either Devour Me or I Decypher You], published in 1976. Millôr Fernandes and Josué Guimarães were the first great brazilian authors to publish at L&PM, and both certainly have a great responsibility for the construction and long life of such project.

     In parallel to the publishing of fiction books, reports, biographies, and testimonies, we have developed in the 1980s and 90s an important series on philosophy that has gathered some of the most important Brazilian philosophers, such as Ernani Maria Fiori, Leandro Konder, Carlos Nelson Coutinho, João Carlos Brum Torres, Arthur Giannotti, Denis Rosenfield, Ernildo Stein, among many others. L&PM has published about 20 issues of its Revista de Filosofia Política [Journal of Political Philosophy], jointly with the Department of Philosophy of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul.

 

celebrated INTERNATIONAL AUTHORS

     As to foreign literature, L&PM gets to a prominent position with the publication of Woody Allen’s Getting Even (translated by Ruy Castro) in 1979. The director becomes a worldwide celebrity after his film Annie Hall  won four Oscar awards. Getting Even was L&PM’s first fiction book to remain as the best-seller top for many weeks. Such a privilege, until then, only belonged to the political best-sellers of 1976 and 1977, senator Paulo Brossard’s books Oposição [Opposition], Ballet proibido [Forbidden  Ballet] and É hora de mudar [It’s Time for a Change].

     Still in the international scenario, L&PM has published in the 1980’s and 1990’s renowned authors like the already mentioned Woody Allen, besides Eduardo Galeano, Giuseppe Lampedusa, Henry Miller, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Sam Shepard, Ross Macdonald, H. P. Lovecraft, Carlos Fuentes, Truman Capote, Vladimir Nabokov, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Jorge Luis Borges, Stephen King, Dashiell Hammett, Tom Wolfe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Flann O’Brien, Elias Canetti, Isaac Asimov, among many others. Yet in those times, L&PM had started its great project of retranslating the great classics. In 1984 it had once again innovated, launching its famous collection “Alma Beat” [Beat Soul], with authors like Charles Bukowski, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Carl Solomon, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Neal Cassady, Gary Snyder, and Gregory Corso, in high level translations by Claudio Willer, Eduardo Bueno, and many other great Brazilian intellectuals.

  

A TRADITION IN
COMIC STRIPS

In L&PM’s early years, more precisely in 1976, we published the album (21x28cm format) Só dói quando eu respiro [It Just Hurts When I Breathe] by cartoonist and painter Caulos, the first Brazilian book of an important writer denouncing the ecologic devastation through cartoons. Subsequently Caulos would publish also Errar é humano [To Err is Human], Vida de passarinho [Birdie’s Life], A última flor amarela [The Last Yellow Flower], and O princípio e o fim [The Beginning and The End]. Following the steps of Só dói ... [It Just Hurts…], L&PM Editores launched in 1980 a series that would become a milestone: the collection Quadrinhos L&PM, which came to 120 titles of the great Brazilian and foreign authors, like: Gilbert Shelton (Freak Brothers), Bob Kane (Batman), Fontanarrosa (Boogie), Paulo Caruso, Altan, Hugo Pratt, Luis Fernando Verissimo, Lee Falk (Phantom), Dik Browne (Hagar), Guido Crepax (Valentina), Caulos, Moebius, Jules Feiffer, Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey), Robert Crumb, Edgar Vasques, Will Eisner, Jerome Siegel (Superman), Wolinski, Miguel Paiva, Quino, Milton Caniff (Steve Canyon), Horacio Altuna, Segar (Popeye), Chester Gould (Dick Tracy), Alex Raymond, among many others. The collection came to a halt in the 90s, but it left its mark, for even today its old editorial line is precisely copied by new publishers. But L&PM proceeds with the tradition of publishing comics in the L&PM POCKET Collection.

      Within the spirit that made L&PM one of those responsible for resuming the publication of comic strips in the 1980s, it made a comeback to comics with a new format. Launched in the L&PM POCKET Collection, its success came immediately. From 2001 on, classics like Hagar, Garfield, Peanuts, Beetle Bailey, and Dilbert have joined a powerful team of Brazilian cartoonists like Angeli and his Rê Bordosa [Wild Hangover], Laerte and Piratas do Tietê [Tietê Pirates], Glauco, Ciça, Edgar Vasques, Iotti, Paulo Caruso, Adão Iturrusgarai, Nani, Santiago, and other coming ones.

THE 1990s AND THE 21st CENTURY

     If on one side the 1990s were financially hard, that is, companies were shaken by the transition from an inflationary to a stable economy in the FHC government of 1994, on the other side it has marked a renewal in the staff of authors.

     The great poet and essayist Martha Medeiros has appeared as an author of nationwide repercussion with best-sellers like Montanha-russa [Roller Coaster] (Açorianos Award and finalist for the Jabuti Award), Trem-bala [Bullet Train], Coisas da vida [Things of Life], Non-Stop, Poesia reunida [Gathered Poetry], among others. L&PM has launched also other great highlights from this generation that appeared in the 90s, like Zé Pedro Goulart, Claudia Tajes, Paula Taitelbaum, Duca Leindecker, Carol Teixeira, Jorge Furtado, professor Cláudio Moreno, who has become a national success with the romanced saga of Tróia [Troy], remayning for half a year as a top best-seller. José Antonio Pinheiro Machado, with his Anonymous Gourmet has transformed gastronomy into a pop happening and, with his RBS TV character, has sold thousands of easy, cheap recipes, full of wonderful tips. Dr. Fernando Lucchese has entered the 21st Century with the striking best-seller Pílulas para viver melhor [Pills for a Better Living], selling almost 200 thousand copies all over Brazil. Novelist and journalist David Coimbra was also a success with his Mulheres! [Women!], Canibais [Cannibals] – dramatized in the TV Gobo program Linha Direta [Direct Line] in 2006 – Jogo de damas [Checkers Game] and Pistoleiros também mandam flores [Gunmen Also Send Flowers], a detective story first published at L&PM’s site and only subsequently as a book. Professor Luís Augusto Fischer has published his much praised novel Quatro negros [Four Black], enters the field of long narrative stories that has awarded him the award for the best novel of 2005, the curious Dicionário de palavras e expressões estrangeiras [Dictionary of Words and Foreign Expressions], and has brought in to L&PM POCKET Collection his famous Dicionário de Porto-Alegrês [Porto-Alegrese Dictionary].

 

L&PM POCKET Collection: L&PM Back to the Future

     Amid the financial hardships of the 1990s, L&PM Editores has decided to break with the past and started the construction of its new story with the eyes turned to the future. The market was invaded by multinationals full of money that attracted important authors and began to dictate new rules, where the capital is the great protagonist. Hit seriously by such predatory process, L&PM’s bet was that to survive in such market, it would need to create new products and new markets. Then the L&PM POCKET Collection made its appearance in 1997.

     Based on a modern project carried out in the models of the grand European collections, L&PM POCKET Collection was constructed over four fundamental pillars: integral texts, high editorial and industrial quality, low prices and “total” distribution, covering all Brazil.

     The Collection became an instant success, for the readers got aware it was something much bigger than a commercial project. The L&PM POCKET Collection is above all a democratic, self-sustained cultural project. Today there are thousands readers searching the best book for the lowest price in the Collection. The L&PM POCKET Collection respects readers as all editorial and industrial decisions are taken aiming at quality and diversity of themes. The books are produced with the best paper in the market and have a sewn finishing, mat, plastic coated cardboard binding. That is, only the format is different, the finishing is the same as that of the traditional books whose cost is more the double of ours.

     To the already respectable catalogue of L&PM Editores, dozens of Brazilian and foreign authors

 

have been added through the L&PM POCKET Collection. Among the Brazilians we have published great authors in the pocket size, such as Lygia Fagundes Telles, Cecília Meireles, Manuel Bandeira, Mario Quintana, Nélida Piñon, Marina Colasanti, Affonso Romano de Sant’Anna, Dalton Trevisan, Deonísio da Silva, Mario Prata, and many others. Among the modern international authors we have published J. D. Salinger, Graham Greene, Henry Miller, Truman Capote, Agatha Christie, Georges Simenon, Kurt Vonnegut, Virginia Woolf, Isaac Asimov, John Fante, E. M. Remarque, Patricia Highsmith, Ruth Rendell, Raymond Chandler, Dashiel Hammett, Chester Himes, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Jorge Luis Borges, Mario Benedetti, Carlos Fuentes, Norman Mailer, and the Nobel winners Pablo Neruda, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Naguib Mahfuz, John Steinbeck, Bertrand Russell, Rudyard Kipling, and many others.

     In the classics area we have launched the main Brazilian authors and translated or retranslated important international authors like Balzac, Stendhal, Dostoyevsky, J. Swift, Dante Alighieri, Cervantes, Conan Doyle, Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, Alexander Dumas, Nicolai Gogol, Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde, Robert L. Stevenson, H. Melville, Flaubert, Joseph Conrad, Jules Verne, Sophocles, Plutarch, Aeschylus, Aesop, Plato, Homer, Schopenhauer, Rimbaud, and many others.

 

THE GREATEST POCKET BOOKS COLLECTION IN BRAZIL

     In 2008 L&PM Editores has commemorated the expressive figure of 8 million pocket books sold through an extremely complex distribution chain that reaches every corner in Brazil, from Chuí to Manaus. There are more than 700 titles following careful technical and editorial criteria. In the L&PM POCKET Collection readers will always find some book of their predilection. There they are, the greatest authors of the world literature, both classic and modern (see L&PM POCKET Series, and the complete catalogue in this site).

     The leader in the market, THE GREATEST POCKET BOOKS COLLECTION IN BRAZIL never ceases inventing. Besides placing about ten new titles every month in the market, the Collection is always creating new series: L&PM POCKET PLUS, with great classic and modern texts at a fixed price of R$ 8; the publishing of the colossal Honoré de Balzac’s A Comédia humana [The Human Comedy], a project involving dozens of titles in new translations carried out by some of the greatest professionals in activity in Brazil; the series Biografias [Biographies], portraying the great personalities of all times, in a magnificent project acquired from the traditional French publisher Gallimard; the complete works by Fernando Pessoa; all of Shakespeare in new translations; the publishing of the great classical detective stories by authors like Georges Simenon and Agatha Christie, in a partnership with the traditional publisher Nova Fronteira. As a consequence, the L&PM POCKET Collection has grown up so much that it is today the main division of L&PM Editores, which goes on acting in the market of traditional books.

     Besides the joint work for publishing the works of Agatha Christie and Georges Simenon, the publishers have entered very important partnerships, such as with Lexikon for publishing reference works like Dicionário Caldas Aulete [Caldas Aulete Dictionary], the Dicionário de dificuldades da língua portuguesa [Dictionary of Difficulties of the Portuguese Language], by Domingos Pascoal Cegalla, the Gramática do português contemporâneo [Grammar of Contemporary Portuguese], by Celso Cunha, among others. In early 2008 a partnership was attained, with Editora Rocco, for the publication of great authors of the modern international literature, such as Michael Crichton, Anne Rice, Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Tom Wolfe, Frances Mayes, Daniel Pennac, among others.

    
Besides more than ten exclusive series, partnerships with great Brazilian publishers, the L&PM POCKET Collection is preparing for the end of 2008 the launching of one of the most important series, the L&PM POCKET Encyclopaedia, with one hundred titles foreseen for a first moment.

 

“Série Ouro” [Gold Series] and other projects

     Once the L&PM POCKET Collection is consolidated and its development projected for the coming five years, the publisher has decided to invest an expressive amount so as to retake its actuation in the area of traditional books (14x21cm and 16x23cm formats). The prompt result was the publication of the best-sellers Marcas de Nascença [Fault Lines], by Nancy Huston, Os homens (às vezes, infelizmente) sempre voltam [Men (sometimes, unfortunately) always come back], by Penélope Parker, História dos Treze [History of the Thirteen], by Honoré de Balzac, Cidade pequena, cidade grande [The Town and The City], by Jack Kerouac, the best biography of Jean-Paul Sartre, by Annie Cohen-Solal, books by Charles Bukowski, Anaïs Nin, Woody Allen, Dashiell Hammett, Martha Medeiros, among many other important writers.

     Also in the traditional formats division the “Série Ouro” [Gold Series] has been created, with 16x23cm format books, hardcover and jacket, which will present great anthologies and texts of the world literature. The first volumes launched were Shakespeare – Obras escolhidas [Shakespeare’s Chosen Works], with twelve plays by the greatest playwright of all times and Machado de Assis – Três romances [Machado de Assis – Three novels], with the three best novels from the renowned Brazilian writer Machado de Assis.

     There are many people in L&PM Editores’ story. A huge legion of collaborators, staff members, and authors have contributed for this 43-year old story.

     And 43 years later, L&PM has consolidated as one of the great Brazilian publishers, with the same partnership, building a great cultural project and fully turned toward the future, with the commitment of renewing and innovating all the time.

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