Letter from the Publisher

Now more than ever: reading is resistance

Dear readers,

The terrorist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend left me stunned. This abhorrent display of hatred was doubtlessly rooted in our unstable, narcissistic president and his penchant for emboldening the extreme right. He is an unfit, ignorant, and dangerous leader whose actions—and silences—undermine the core values of American society.

Anger is, predictably, in the air.

But we cannot let that anger immobilize us. Like the protesters who resisted those displays of hatred—who were viciously attacked for defending the values this country truly represents—we must respond fiercely through reason, dialogue, and openness.

This type of catalytic resistance is what we stand for at Restless Books. As its publisher, I’m determined to endorse equanimity by opposing the tidal waves of racism, anti-Semitism, anti-immigration, and xenophobia currently sweeping through our nation. We are an international, independent publisher that both celebrates the differences of communities across the world, and finds a common ground that people across cultural and linguistic worlds can inhabit. Resistance should not be pursued through intolerance—rescuing the intelligence and inclusivity of our national conversation can only be achieved through enlightenment.

The shelves in our Brooklyn office embody our world vision: Miguel de Cervantes sits next to W.E.B. DuBois; our Icelandic visionary, Oddný Eir, shares a section of our walls with Mary Shelley; and our Zen-Buddhist author, Ruth Ozeki, seems to be at home alongside the Abu-Dhabian Deepak Unnikrishnan and the Cuban science fiction polymath, Yoss. Our office is where we first dreamed up Yonder, our new children’s imprint of picture, chapter, and YA books translated from other languages. It is also the place where we envisioned our Prize for New Immigrant Writing, a celebration of the richness immigrant literature adds to the varied fabric of American culture.

We pride ourselves on producing books that spotlight new literary voices and evince the multifacetedness of the human experience.

With your support for our ongoing crowdfunding campaign, we won’t merely survive; we’ll open new lines of dialogue through literature that highlights difference.

Con enorme gratitud,

Ilan Stavans

Publisher of Restless Books