Mar 15, 2020
David Emblidge spent his childhood in Buffalo, New York and "on the sunny beaches of Ontario’s Lake Erie." After university he worked at the Associated Press as a reporter covering everything from the "disappearance of rural doctors to hog futures, and one murder."
Before entering the publishing trade as a second career he spent ten rewarding years as a professor following on degrees in English (Univ. of Virginia) and American Studies (Univ. of Minnesota).
He worked in publishing for nearly twenty-five years – as acquisitions editor, book packager, publishing consultant, editor in chief, and publisher. The houses: Harvard University Press, Cambridge University Press, Continuum, The Mountaineers Books. He founded Berkshire House Publishers (travel, regional literature and history, food), and eventually sold it to WW Norton. As a book packager, he produced multi-volume series on various subjects for major trade book publishers such as St. Martins, Watson-Guptil, and Stackpole.
He currently holds a tenured position at Emerson College, in Boston in the Dept. of Writing, Literature and Publishing. We met at his offices there to discuss the histories of four iconic American bookstores: Boston's Old Corner Bookstore, Manhattan's Scribner's Bookstore and Gotham Book Mart, and San Francisco's City Lights. Along the way we meet Ticknor & Fields, Emerson, Thoreau and Hawthorne; Frances Steloff and T.S. Eliot; and on the West Coast, Lawrence Monsanto Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg. Join us for the ride.