LONDON (AP) — Influential publisher John Calder, who championed avant-garde authors and battled censorship, has died. He was 91.
Colleague Alessandro Gallenzi of Alma Books said Wednesday that Calder died on Monday at Edinburgh's Western General Hospital after several weeks of declining health.
Founded in 1949, Calder Publications published European writers including Anton Chekhov, Leo Tolstoy and Emile Zola, as well as newer authors — notably Samuel Beckett, whom Calder considered "the greatest of 20th-century writers."
He also championed edgy Americans including Henry Miller and William S. Burroughs, and in 1966 was convicted of obscenity for publishing Hubert Selby's gritty novel "Last Exit to Brooklyn." The conviction was overturned on appeal.
Gallenzi called Calder "a towering figure in the fight against censorship and the dissemination of international literature and culture in the U.K."