About Portobello Books

Portobello Books is one of Britain’s younger independent publishing imprints, but since its launch in 2005, we have won a strong reputation for quality, integrity, originality and individuality in our publishing.  We publish about ten new books each year, with a particular focus on issue-driven non-fiction that ranges from investigative journalism, reportage, politics and narrative history, to travel writing and memoir.  The other key strand of our list is fiction in translation, and Portobello is home to some of the most celebrated writers from around the world. 

The company was founded in 2005 by the philanthropist Sigrid Rausing, the Academy Award-winning film producer Eric Abraham and the publisher Philip Gwyn Jones. Its first books, published that autumn, were a mixture of urgent non-fiction on global subjects, and innovative fiction. In 2006, Sigrid Rausing acquired Granta magazine and Granta Books, and now she is the publisher across all three imprints. Granta Books and Portobello Books share design, sales, marketing, publicity, rights and production departments.  We are also part of the Independent Alliance.  In 2009, Portobello Books was short-listed for the Independent Publisher of the Year Award, and since then our publishing has gone from strength to strength.  

Today we are home to writers from six continents (our search in Antarctica continues), our authors have received some of the highest literary accolades (including the Man Booker International, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the Nobel Prize), and our books have appeared on best-seller lists around the world and achieve an enviable level of press coverage and cultural resonance.  Although the shape of the list has evolved over the years, we remain true to our founding principles: to bring our readers books that are enlightening, searching, and entertaining, and to offer our authors the support of a team who is passionate about their writing and committed to publishing it with creativity and impact.

Prizewinning titles from Portobello Books:

  • The Vegetarian by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith - The Man Booker International Prize (2016)
  • The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck - The Schlegel-Tieck Prize for German Translation (2016)
  • Do It Like A Woman by Caroline Criado-Perez - Nudge Readers' Book of the Year (2013)
  • What to Eat? by Hattie Ellis - The Guild of Food Writers Awards (2013)
  • Cruel Britannia by Iain Cobain - The Total Politics Debut Book of the Year (2013)
  • The Hunger Angel by Herta Muller, translated by Philip Boehm - The Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize (2013)
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo - PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Non-Fiction (2013)
  • Slavery by Lydia Cacho - The Ordre National de la Légion d'honneur (2013)
  • The Misfortunates by Dimitri Verhulst - The Vondel Prize for Dutch Translations (2013)
  • The Devil's Workshop by Jáchym Topol - The Typographical Translation Award (2013)
  • The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck - The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (2013)

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