Allison & Busby

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Allison and Busby
Founded1967; 54 years ago (1967)
FoundersClive Allison; Margaret Busby
Country of originEngland
Headquarters locationLondon
Key peopleSusie Dunlop (Publishing Director)
Publication typesBooks

Allison & Busby (A & B) is a publishing house based in London established by Clive Allison and Margaret Busby in 1967.[3][4][5] The company has built up a reputation as a leading independent publisher.[6]


Launching as a publishing company in May 1967,[7] A & B in its first two decades published writers including Sam Greenlee, Michael Moorcock, H. Rap Brown, Buchi Emecheta, Nuruddin Farah, Rosa Guy, Roy Heath, Chester Himes, Adrian Henri, Michael Horovitz, C. L. R. James, George Lamming, Geoffrey Grigson, Jill Murphy, Andrew Salkey, Ishmael Reed, Julius Lester, Alexis Lykiard, Colin MacInnes, Arthur Maimane, Adrian Mitchell, Ralph de Boissière, Gordon Williams, Alan Burns, John Clute, James Ellroy, Giles Gordon, Clive Sinclair, Jack Trevor Story, John Edgar Wideman, Val Wilmer, Margaret Thomson Davis, Dermot Healy, Richard Stark, B. Traven, Simon Leys, and others.[8]

Among the imprint's original titles are The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1969), Behold the Man (1969), The Final Programme (1969), The English Assassin (1972), The Worst Witch (1974), The Bride Price (1976), The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius (1976), The Condition of Muzak (1977), Gloriana (1978), The Chairman's New Clothes: Mao and the Cultural Revolution (1979), and The True History of the Elephant Man (1980).

The company was acquired by W. H. Allen Ltd in 1987, was subsequently part of Virgin Publishing,[9] and has since "evolved and thrived under various independent managers",[10] including Peter Day and David Shelley.[11] A & B is now owned by Spanish publisher Javier Moll's Editorial Prensa Ibérica.[12] The current Publishing Director, appointed in 2005,[12] is Susie Dunlop,[13] and the imprint publishes "an array of books, from crime and thrillers to literary, historical and women's fiction, to fantasy, memoirs, and books on popular culture."[14]

At the time of the company's founding, Margaret Busby was the UK's youngest and the first black woman publisher;[15] she left the company in 1987.[16][17] Clive Allison died on 25 July 2011.[4]


  1. ^ "Allison and Busby". Bookseller Information. Warehouse and Distribution. Retrieved 17 November 2018.[self-published source]
  2. ^ "Baker & Taylor | News". Retrieved 2 March 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Busby, Margaret (3 August 2011). "Clive Allison obituary". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b Kingshill, Katie (7 September 2011). "Clive Allison: Publisher whose eclectic imprint was in the vanguard of independent houses". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Margaret Busby remembers Clive Allison". Poetry Book Society. 5 August 2011. Archived from the original on 2 June 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  6. ^ "Independent Publisher of the Month: Allison & Busby". Archived from the original on 8 February 2009.
  7. ^ Saipan Elegy and Other Poems by James Grady; A Stained Glass Raree Show by Libby Houston; Selected Poems by James Reeves — Allison & Busby, May 1967.
  8. ^ Allison & Busby list of books, archINFORM.
  9. ^ Virgin Group History, Funding Universe.
  10. ^ "Co-founder of Allison & Busby dies". Allison & Busby website. Retrieved October 2011.
  11. ^ Caroline Dawnay and David Shelley, "Peter Day: a man of unerring human and literary insight"[permanent dead link], BookBrunch, 23 July 2014.
  12. ^ a b "New face at Allison & Busby"[permanent dead link], Publishing News Digital Archive, Kingston University Information Services, 25 February 2005.
  13. ^ "Contact Us", A&B website.
  14. ^ Allison & Busby Books – Overview, Facebook.
  15. ^ "Margaret Busby Profile". The Guardian. Retrieved December 2014.
  16. ^ Carole Boyce Davies, "Women and Literature in the African Diaspora", in Melvin Ember, Carol R. Ember, Ian Skoggard (eds), Encyclopedia of Diasporas: Immigrant and Refugee Cultures Around the World., Springer, 2005, p. 384.
  17. ^ Shereen Ali, "Sharing Our Voices" Archived 2 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine, Trinidad Guardian, 29 April 2015.

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