I'm all for a good reprint, but I had no idea that JFranz was personally responsible for the uptick in their numbers:
The toughest statement about what role reprints are filling comes from Persephone's Nicola Beauman, who doesn't hesitate to say that modern fiction has lost the art of storytelling, an attribute she distinguishes from plot.
"You get to the end of Jonathan Franzen's 'The Corrections' and you haven't been changed in any way," she explains. "You think, 'So what?' "
Beauman, whose "A Very Great Profession" chronicles the British "women's novel" from 1914 to 1939, argues that the writers and novelists she is publishing, Dorothy Whipple and Marghanita Laski among them, are exemplars of that lost art of storytelling. She refers, not disdainfully, to her company's books as middlebrow novels; Persephone's biggest recent success, Winifred Wilson's "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" (the basis for the recent film), might qualify. But it's tough to think of a contemporary match for its singular sophistication and generosity.