Quartet today has, by a process of healthy evolution, moved on from the house that was started by the four founders. Thus the political publishing of the 1970s has evolved into books on social issues (Prozac Nation, Drive-By, etc); music publishing formerly focusing on jazz musicians has moved into the fields of pop and rock (recent books on Frank Zappa and Tupac Shakur have been very successful); translations on early 20th century classics (by Broch and von Doderer for example) are being followed by contemporary writers (Peter Esterhazy, Emmanuel Carrere). Granada, the company the founders left has been swallowed and swallowed again in a process that has changed the face of the booktrade. Once great publishing names are now controlled by the businessmen and accountants that run the conglomerates. Quartet continues to evolve but has not overlooked past values.
A commitment to find an alternative to the mainstream provides the key to Quartet
Quartet was incorporated in a blaze of idealism and innovation. Its four founders – Ken Banerji, John Boothe, William Miller and Brian Thompson – had all been executives within Granada publishing. In September 1972, they joined forces in order to attempt something new and ambitious in the world on publishing.
It was a company founded on socialist ideals and a strong emphasis on co-operative spirit. The aim was to provide a wide-ranging service, including fiction and non-fiction in both casebound and paperback, and also paperback editions of books published by hardcover houses. From the start the company looked at new ways of presenting books and in a bid to make books more affordable introduced ‘midway editions’. Such paperbacks