Algonquin Books released a statement expressing their sadness at the death of Barney Rosset on Tuesday. The house has Rosset’s autobiography THE SUBJECT WAS LEFT-HANDED under contract (Wednesday’s Lunch misstated it as a biography), and publisher Elisabeth Scharlatt says, “We are very sad that he won’t be here to see his book published, and hope to release it within the year.” Bradford Morrow was working with Rosset on the manuscript, which has been in the works “for quite some time” according to Scharlatt.
Separately, president of Grove/Atlantic Morgan Entrekin had this to say about the former head of Grove Press: “Barney Rosset was one of the greatest American publishers. His legendary battles against censorship to publish the work of D. H. Lawrence, Henry Miller and William Burroughs changed the literary and cultural landscape of our country. He was a passionate advocate for social justice and personal freedom and published a wide range of books that challenged conventional ideas of race, gender and the parochialism of America. His legacy, the hundreds of books he published, many, many of them still in print—from Borges’ FICCIONES to THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X to John Rechy’s CITY OF NIGHT—are still changing minds today.”
The NYT obituary says that Rosset’s son Peter told them he died following a double-heart-valve replacement.