Haute Culture Books, is publisher of limited edition luxury volumes with a mission to bring masterpieces of global literature to English-speaking readers around the world. The press creates limited print editions, each a distinctive art object. These luxury volumes support the distribution of free e-books for each title, and buyers are, in effect, benefactors – or “Book Angels,” as the press calls them. Their first book, a new translation of Gustave Flaubert’s novella Felicity: The Tale of the Simple Heart, the main symbol of which is a parrot called Loulou has aroused a lot of interest with its clever objet d’art presentation. Handmade using silk, gold and a parrot feather bookmark the volume is signed and numbered and comes complete inside its own birdcage. The luxury book is limited to only 50 copies, and will be sold through Assouline Books luxury boutiques in New York, Los Angeles, London and Paris.
When asked does the Haute Culture Books publishing model privilege the book as an aesthetic object, publisher Luis de Miranda explained: “This model privileges the free distribution of quality literature and it reinvents the physical book as a cult object. I aim to create unique objects that make the poetry of texts tangible. As we all spend more time in front of screens, I believe that the experiential aspect of the printed book will become more important, with readers looking for a higher quality object. I foresee the return of the “gentleman’s library” (or “gentlewoman’s library”), with fine leather volumes and limited editions – the polar opposite of e-books. Our limited editions will embody my great respect for the ritual of reading and for the craftsmanship of book making, while at the same time subsidizing the free distribution of our e-books and building a new global audience for iconic European literary masters.”
Haute Culture is planning to publish the first English edition of the Russian novelist Yuri Mamleyev’s Shatuny, as well as the first volume of Truth and Justice, by the Estonian icon A.H. Tammsaare in 2014.