Traditional Publishing

Lasting reputations: why have some authors dominated the publishing industry? – Sunday December 31, 2023

Life Before ManThe Cement GardenGrimus. Whilst this may just seem like a list of books published some five decades ago, all these books have one thing in common. Their authors, who found fame in the 1970s, are still being revered for their literary efforts in 2023. Atwood, McEwan, Rushdie – all stalwarts of the “Old Gang” who are still finding their books in best-seller lists today. When so many new authors are fighting to be seen on bookshop shelves and to be promoted on social media, it may seem absurd that we are still returning to books by older authors, but nevertheless, their works have a longevity that have allowed them to continue selling thousands of copies in the 21st century, whether this seems detrimental to the literary industry or not. 

The 1970s was a time of change across the literary scene. In the backdrop of a more turbulent political and social landscape, authors were honing in on a reflective style with texts encompassing an awareness of the changing world they formed a part of. The youthful voice was being captured with the emergence of upcoming authors like Toni Morrison and Martin Amis. Literature was being used as a vehicle for political and social change. Yet, ironically, the call for modernising which was ever present in the 1970s is something that is being halted today by the authors of that era outlasting many of their contemporaries. 

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