Random House

Publishing house

1927 - present

Italy, United States


The publishing company Random House was founded by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer in 1927, two years after the acquisition of Modern Library – Cerf and Klopfer had planned to publish with Random House the books that would not fit into any of the former editorial collections. The first Italian novel to be published by Random House was Fontamara by Ignazio Silone, published in 1934 in the translation of Michael Wharf. From the 1950s, novels by Italian writers became a regular presence in the Random House catalogues – the first novel to be published in the 50s was Tiro al piccione (Mondadori, 1953) by Giose Rimanelli, published in 1954 under the title Fall of the Night (The Day of the Lion) in the translation by Ben Johnson. By Giose Rimanelli, Random House would also publish the novel Peccato originale (Mondadori, 1954) in 1957, under the title Original Sin and translated by Ben Johnson. Among the Italian novels published by Random House were Il barone rampante (Einaudi, 1957) by Italo Calvino, translated by Archibald Colquhoun and published in 1959 under the title The Baron in the Trees; Rosso veneziano (Colombo, 1959) by Pier Maria Pasinetti, published in 1960 in a translation by the author titled Venetian Red; Una lunga pazzia (Feltrinelli) by Antonio Barolini, published in 1964 under the title A Long Madness and translated by Helen Barolini; Chi gioca solo (Einaudi, 1966) by Danilo Dolci, in the translation by Antonia Cowan and published in 1968 under the title The Man who Plays Alone. Agenzia Letteraria Internazionale, headquartered in Milan and under the direction of Erich Linder from 1951 to 1983, played in many occasions the role of mediator between Random House and various Italian publishing houses. In 2001, Random House started a joint-venture with Mondadori – naming it Grupo Editorial Random House Mondadori – to publish and sell books in Spain, Mexico and South America. Mondadori sold its share of the joint-venture to the multimedia group Bertelsmann in 2013.

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Archivio Storico AME, fasc. Agenzia Letteraria Internazionale. Fondazione Arnoldo e Alberto Mondadori (FAAM), Milano.

Healey, Robin. Italian Literature since 1900 in English Translation: An Annotated Bibliography, 1929-2016. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019.

Modern Library. «About Modern Library»   https://www.modernlibrary.com/about/

Mondadori. «Random House/Bertelsmann and Mondadori form international Spanish-language book publishing joint-venture.» Mondadori

Penguin Random House. «About Us» http://www.penguinrandomhouse.biz/about/history/

Penguin Random House. «About Us» https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/about-us/

Penguin Random House. «Imprints» https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/imprints/

Pengui  Random House. «Random House Mondadori is renamed Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial»

Author Eleonora Bellini