Paravion Press: Book-Length Postcards?

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Paravion Press “started with us simply sewing books in the back room of our bookshop in Santorini, Greece,” Craig Walzer, the company’s New York contact, tells us. “A wealthy lady who works in the business of books came into the shop one day and asked us what we planned to publish next. We said we wanted to do a series of literary postcards capturing the world’s great cities. The lady loved what she saw and told us that if we came to New York she’d fund a large-scale run of books, as long as we created a New York Series to inaugurate ‘The Cities.’ We said yes, please. So I packed my suitcase, moved to New York, and we designed the three New York editions. Then the woman wavered and vacillated and didn’t return our calls and in the end she simply didn’t pull through. But we had good books in our hands ready to print so we scraped together the cash and funded the printing ourselves. In the end I suppose we have to thank the lady for pulling us to New York, even if she did kinda screw us over.” Two of the three New York books they created are Brooklyn-focused: “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” and “Boredom.” “We didn’t set out for two Brooklyn stories,” Walzer continues, “but it seems like the literary odds were rigged to push our focus to the east. First off, I was sleeping on my brother’s couch in Williamsburg when we were sifting through potentials. But come on, you can’t read New York without Whitman, and Whitman is Brooklyn, so that was a shoo-in. And then [Maxim] Gorky’s wry and twisted essay on Coney Island charmingly complemented Whitman’s transcendent tone. Two stories set on the docks, very human-eye-views. Brooklyn’s good like that.”

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