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New publisher dedicated to essays hopes to revive the form
Notting Hill Editions launches with work from authors including Roland Barthes, John Berger and Georges Perec

A new publisher dedicated to reinvigorating the art of the essay launches this week, featuring works by Roland Barthes and John Berger, and new introductions from Margaret Drabble and Christopher Ricks.

From French critic Barthes's diary of bereavement, Mourning Diary, to Cataract, Berger's reflections on his loss of vision illustrated by Turkish artist Selçuk Demirel, Notting Hill Editions books are "intended to embody the essayistic virtues of brevity, soul and wit," according to the publisher's editorial director the literary critic and author Lucasta Miller.

"A good essay is a paradox - condensed and elastic, distilled and open-ended. Ben Jonson dismissed the form as 'a few loose sentences and that's all', but we think that looseness is the essay's strength. It can flexibly accommodate every sort of non-fiction prose from biography to polemic, from criticism to philosophy, from memoir to jeu d'esprit, from history to travelogue," said Miller.

A website,, also launches this week, featuring a weekly journal with a newly commissioned essay, and a library of the 100 greatest essays of all time.

The Guardian