Persea is an independent, literary publishing house founded in 1975 by Michael Braziller and Karen Braziller, who still own and direct the company.
Persea has published hundreds of engaging and consequential books covering a wide range of subjects, styles, and genres, including poetry, fiction, essays, memoir, biography, and revived classics. Our list focuses on contemporary issues expressed through individual experience. It reflects the rich diversity of American literature, from Native American onward, and includes a wide selection of works in translation.
Some of our most prominent books are by Anzia Yezierska, most notably Bread Givers; Christine de Pizan, especially the E. J. Richard’s translation of The Book of the City of Ladies; Oscar Hijuelos, author of Our House in the Last World; Carl Friedman, author of Nightfather; and numerous poetry collections by Paul Celan, Nazim Hikmet, Thylias Moss, and Laura Riding. Our Young Adult program features books by authors Meg Kearney, Anne Mazer, Gary Soto, and Marie Raphael.
Persea’s poetry editor, Gabriel Fried, has successfully introduced a new generation of contemporary American poets, including Molly McCully Brown, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Mitchell L. H. Douglas, Randall Mann, Patrick Rosal, and Lisa Russ Spaar, among others.
Our timely and innovative program of literary anthologies include 12 Short Stories and Their Making, America Street, Imagining America, Of Leaf and Flower: Stories and Poems for Gardeners, The Resilient Writer: Tales of Rejection and Triumph from 23 Top Authors, Short: An International Anthology of Short-Short Stories, Prose Poems, Brief Essays, and Other Short Prose Forms, and many more.
On the cusp of our fifth decade, the aim of the press remains what it has always been, to bring the spirit and integrity of independence to works of the highest literary merit and relevance.
The Persea (PER-see-ah) tree is a wild laurel native to the Near East and Africa. The ancient Egyptians revered it as a celestial tree, believing the stars were its leaves and the sun rose from its branches. Thoth, god of science, arts and numbers, recorder of deeds and measurer of time, and Safekh, goddess of writing and learning, sat at the foot of the Persea and inscribed upon its leaves the names and deeds of those mortals whose important works had secured them eternal life and everlasting fame.