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Barney Rosset (1922 - )

Lifespan: 1922 -

Related: The Evergreen Review - Publishing - American literature - Grove Press

In bestowing on Barney Rosset the honorific of Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1999, the French Ministry of Culture said: "You brought writers considered marginal into the mainstream. We are still reaping the fruits of your relentless efforts and achievements, and such is your legacy that the American public is indebted to you for many of the most interesting books it reads."


Barnet Lee Rosset, Jr., more commonly known as Barney Rosset (born 1922), is an American entrepreneur and former owner of the publishing house Grove Press. Rosset is perhaps best known as the American publisher of the controversial and sexually charged novel Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller.

The right to publish and distribute Miller's novel in the United States was affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1964, a landmark ruling for free speech and the First Amendment. Rosset had earlier led a successful legal battle to publish the uncensored version of D. H. Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover.

Rosset introduced Americans to writers such as Samuel Beckett, Jean Genet, Eugène Ionesco, and Harold Pinter. Grove Press published many of the writers of the Beat generation, including William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Jack Kerouac. Rosset also purchased the American distribution rights to I Am Curious (Yellow).

He married American Abstract Expressionist Painter Joan Mitchell in 1949 in Paris. They divorced in 1952. Rosset was awarded the French title Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1999. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barney_Rossett [Jan 2007]

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