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Ecco Press

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Ecco Press
Parent companyHarperCollins
FounderDaniel Halpern
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationManhattan, New York City
Key peopleHelen Atsma, Sarah Murphy
Publication typesBooks
Fiction genresLiterary Fiction, poetry
Official websiteeccobooks.com

Ecco is a New York–based publishing imprint of HarperCollins. It was founded in 1971 by Daniel Halpern as an independent publishing company; Publishers Weekly described it as "one of America's best-known literary houses."[1] In 1999 Ecco was acquired by HarperCollins, with Halpern remaining at the head. Since 2000, Ecco has published the yearly anthology The Best American Science Writing, edited by Jesse Cohen.[2] In 2011, Ecco created two separate publishing lines, one "curated" by chef-author Anthony Bourdain and the other by novelist Dennis Lehane.


Halpern founded Ecco Press in 1971, originally to publish the literary magazine Antaeus[3] (which folded in 1994). Ecco's name was suggested by Halpern's initial backer, ketchup heiress Drue Heinz.[3] Initially, Ecco specialized in reissues and paperback editions of hardcovers previously published by other companies,[3] including works by Paul Bowles, Cormac McCarthy,[3] Charles Bukowski, and John Fante. It also published such noteworthy titles as Bells in Winter, a 1978 poetry collection by Czeslaw Milosz, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1980, and Madhur Jaffrey's An Invitation to Indian Cooking.[4] In 1991, Heinz transferred ownership to Halpern. Ecco Press remained independent, although affiliated with Viking Press and W.W. Norton & Company for sales and distribution, until its acquisition by HarperCollins in 1999.[5]

Notable titles published by Ecco since 1999 include the paperback edition of Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly and Patti Smith's memoir, Just Kids.[3] Currently, Ecco releases between 35 and 40 titles a year, usually a mixture of literary novels, biographies, memoirs, and culinary titles, by authors such as Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Ford, T.C. Boyle, Amy Tan, Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Lethem, Jelani Cobb, Simon Schama, Richard Dawkins, Russell Banks, Vendela Vida, Jorie Graham, Mario Batali, Daniel Boulud, and April Bloomfield.[6]

In September 2011, Ecco announced that Anthony Bourdain would have his own publishing line, which would include acquiring three to five titles per year that "reflect his remarkably eclectic tastes."[7] In describing the line, Bourdain said, "This will be a line of books for people with strong voices who are good at something—who speak with authority. Discern nothing from this initial list—other than a general affection for people who cook food and like food. The ability to kick people in the head is just as compelling to us—as long as that's coupled with an ability to vividly describe the experience. We are just as intent on crossing genres as we are enthusiastic about our first three authors. It only gets weirder from here."[8]

In October 2011, Ecco announced that Dennis Lehane would have his own eponymous publishing line, acquiring ". . . literary fiction with a dark urban edge.”[9] One of the initial books in the line was Ivy Pochoda's Visitation Street.

In 2020, it was announced that founding editor Daniel Halpern would move to an editor at large position; in 2021, fifty years after founding Ecco Press, Halpern joined Alfred A. Knopf as executive editor.[10]

Selected Awards[edit]

Year Award Category Title Author
2020 Pulitzer Prize Biography Sontag: Her Life and Work Benjamin Moser
2017 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Mystery A Book of American Martyrs Joyce Carol Oates
2015 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Poetry From the New World: Poems 1976–2014 Jorie Graham
2010 National Book Award Nonfiction Just Kids Patti Smith
2008 Pulitzer Prize Poetry Time and Materials Robert Hass
2008 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize First Novel The Septembers of Shiraz Dalia Sofer
2006 National Book Critics Circle Award General Nonfiction Rough Crossings Simon Schama
1996 Pulitzer Prize Poetry The Dream of the Unified Field Jorie Graham
1994 National Book Award Poetry Worshipful Company of Fletchers James Tate
1993 Pulitzer Prize Poetry The Wild Iris Louise Glück
1984 National Book Critics Circle Award Criticism Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry Robert Hass
1980 Nobel Prize Literature Nobel Prize in Literature Czeslaw Milosz

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "HarperCollins to Acquire the Ecco Press".
  2. ^ Kettmann, Steve. "The Best and the Weirdest," Wired (July 31, 2003).
  3. ^ a b c d e Deahl, Rachel. "Milestones: Halpern Reflects on 40 Years of Ecco," Publishers Weekly (Nov. 25, 2011).
  4. ^ "Ecco Press Turns 30".
  5. ^ "Ecco Press records". archives.nypl.org. Retrieved 2022-08-22.
  6. ^ "Corporate HarperCollins Imprints".
  7. ^ "Anthony Bourdain Adds 'Book Publisher' To Resume". Huffington Post. September 12, 2011. Retrieved February 25, 2012.
  8. ^ Forbes, Paula (22 February 2012). "The Lineup For Anthony Bourdain's Ecco Imprint: Roy Choi, Texas Barbecue, Kickboxing". Eater. Retrieved February 25, 2012.
  9. ^ Witt, Emily. "Dennis Lehane to ‘Curate’ Eponymous Line of Books for HarperCollins," New York Observer (Oct. 11, 2011).
  10. ^ "Shelf Awareness for Thursday, February 18, 2021".

External links[edit]