Published online by Cambridge University Press: 19 December 2019
Partly due to their British colonial education, many writers were lured to the postwar metropolis to find publishers and a wider audience for their work. This chapter discusses the contradictory stances of the publishing industry in the 1950s and 1960s. It traces the interactions between editors, audiences, and other cultural networks that made London an international publishing capital for ‘new’ Commonwealth authors (as they were then known). It was in London that Amos Tutuola or Wilson Harris were first noticed by Faber and Faber, and Sam Selvon’s A Brighter Sun (1952) or George Lamming’s In the Castle of My Skin (1953) first appeared. This interest soon waned, however, as issues of race, nation, and identity began to dominate, and sharp divisions were apparent, partially due to the myopia of some publishers and the parochial reception of some critics. The chapter also points forwards to the social and political contexts which provoked the vital growth of smaller and more radical publishing houses such as New Beacon (1966) in the 1970s and 1980s.