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John Calder (born 1927) is a Canadian and Scottish publisher who founded Calder Publishing in 1949.


John Calder was a friend of Samuel Beckett, becoming the main publisher of his prose-texts in Britain after the success of Waiting for Godot on the London stage in 1955-56. During the 1950s, he published the translated work of Anton Chekhov, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Goethe and Zola, including most of the work of April FitzLyon, and was the first publisher to make William S. Burroughs available in the United Kingdom. He was also responsible for a Writer's festival and conference in Edinburgh in the 1950s, uniting writers from all over the world. From 1963 to 1975, Calder was in partnership with Marion Boyars, and the company was known as Calder and Boyars.

The imprint continues to publish Howard Barker, Tim Waterstone, and other figures of literature both past and present. In 2002, John Calder opened The Calder Bookshop Theatre at 51 The Cut, Waterloo, London.[1] During 2006, Lou MacLoughlan and Louise Milne produced the documentary John Calder: A Life in Publishing commemorating his life.

In April 2007 it was announced that John Calder is passing the business on to Oneworld Classics; the list will retain his name,[2] although the rights to the non-theatrical work of Beckett have been acquired by Faber.


  1. ^ - The Calder Bookshop Theatre
  2. ^ Joel Rickett "The bookseller", The Guardian, 21 April 2007. Retrieved on 1 July 2007.

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