A book: a compact, generic, practical object, almost always standard in body, but changing in faces. Somewhat humble, unoriginal, mediocrely – yet stubbornly – resilient. Its use involves labor, interpretation, and time. Cities have changed in form and name, generations have come and gone, sometimes without a trace, yet, the book lives on among us. Like a stubborn dinosaur, refusing extinction, promising its existence past and beyond climate changes, wars and upheavals, fashions and regimes. In this respect, a book is a miracle.
Our hobby, at Nine Lives Press, is the art of discovery. To hunt for works whose reading might provide literary solace. What all of our titles have in common is an awareness; awareness of their own form and of the mechanisms of imagination, play, language, and invention within them. In other words, we seek for unusual pieces, read through what critic John Berger named the reader’s “inner eye.”
Within the collection everything else fluctuates: eras, intentions, rhythms, countries, languages, themes. The names of the game are radical eclecticism, surprise-ability, a cultivation of the desire to collect, a creation of design affinity, and stowing – within the books – an uncontrollable need to survive.
Welcome to Nine Lives Press.
A book catalogue is the publisher’s curatorial and aesthetic statement. The publisher collects a group of pieces, especially dear to him, and wishes his best that others will too collect these pieces, with the same wild, restless literary urge. Why so? Because the catalogue strives for a perfection and wholeness never to be attained.
Despite or because of its inherent imperfection, the catalogue, in effect, tells a story; each piece is measured in its own right and in relation to the other books standing alongside it in the collection. Therefore, the collection takes on the form of a literary scaffold – vertically piled and added, wobbly yet stable.
We start with two formats: medium-distance running novellas of up to 300 pages, in a 12X18cm casing; and compact “sprint” booklets, made up of literary suites or short chamber pieces, in a 15.5X10.8cm casing. We, at Nine Lives, do not use standard categorization based on genre, period, language, or geography. Rather, each piece of the puzzle is chosen for the role it plays amongst its fellow books.
If we could choose the experience or sensory organ by which our books were to be read, we would skip thought, eyes, or ears, for our literary dream is to attend to the most sensitive, mysterious, and complex organ of all: the mouth.
Among Our Authors:
Joseph Roth, Elena Poniatowska, Stefan Zweig, Alfred Hayes, Walter Benjamin, Annemarie Schwartzenbach, Sergio Bizzio, Sylvia Molloy, Pablo Katchadjian, Christopher Morley, Mircea Cartarescu, Eca De Queiros, Tryno Maldonada, Santiago Gamboa, Antonio Patricio, Fernando Pessoa, Eduardo Berti, Ring Lardner, Thomas Wolfe, Ricardo Strafacce, Andres Neuman, Rafael Pinedo, Claudia Piñeiro, Vesevolod Garshin, Jack London, Virginia Woolf, William Hazlit, Guy De Maupassant, H.G. Wells, Louis Carroll, Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mario Levrero, Martin Rejtman, Domingo Villar, Pablo De Santis, Martin Kohan, Jean de la Ville de Mirmont, Martin Felipe Castagnet, Matilde Serao.
Uriel Kon (1975), Editor in Chief, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina; currently resides in Jerusalem. Studied urban planning at the Technion, and architecture at Bezalel Academy of arts and Design, where he also teaches. Has been writing and publishing essays on architecture, music, photography, literature, and cultural criticism, for a decade. Uriel co-founded “Libro”, a book series specializing in Latin American fiction, under Keter Books, with Hilit Hamou-Meir. In addition, he founded the “El Dorado” series for contemporary Latin American Literature at Carmel Publishing, served as editor in chief at Simtaot Books, and was co-founder and editor at Zikit Books. Uriel engages in various activities: he edited and produced international symposiums on the topics of urbanism, divided cities, sustainability, human rights, and conservation; he taught modern literature at Minshar College; curated exhibitions, and produced albums in the field of jazz. He was the artistic director and producer of jazz and new music series in Jerusalem, among which: "The Vanguard", "The Swedish Chef", and "Jerusalem Jazz Sessions". He also co-founded different culture websites and projects, some of which still remain as dreams. Nine Lives Press is his first fully independent platform.
Editorial Coordination. Erika has an undergraduate degree in Linguistics and French literature and is currently a graduate student at the Department of General and Comparative Literature and a participant of the Mandel Graduate Program at the Hebrew University. When not dodging drug gang bullets, her youth in Colombia was spent dancing ballet, studying languages, and reading books. Although she does not miss the shootings, she does miss Colombia’s pristine beaches and the food: Arepas, Fríjoles and Ajiaco.
Online Store. A photographer and graduate of the Camera Obscura School for the Arts. Liat also studied Education and Art at the University of Leeds. Leaving the big city behind, she settled into village life along the Gaza Strip border. There, she followed her mother’s footsteps and became a librarian. Liat is also a homeopathic therapist and a mother of six story-loving children.
New Media. Tom is a student of General and Comparative Literature and History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She was born and raised in Tel Aviv, where she also studied film and fell in love with French New Wave cinema. Tom currently lives in Jerusalem but dreams of Paris, and when not watching films she reads, writes and takes photos.
David is an artist, working in sculpture and installation, alongside typography and book design. An MFA candidate, at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Tel Aviv. Served as the designer for various book publications, such as Zikit books, Babel Publishers, Simtaot Books, “El Dorado” book series at Carmel Publishing, and many more. David held a solo exhibition at The Lobby Art Space, Tel Aviv, and participated in group shows at the Ashdod Museum of Art, Eretz Israel Museum, Senate Gallery at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Nazareth Art Gallery, and more. www.davidbenarroch.com
Lives in Jerusalem, studied at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Conservator of archeological artifacts at the Israel Museum, a translator, and an illustrator.
An editor, reader, proof-reader, has worked for 12 years at Am-Oved publishing house, and with Zikit Books, Locus Publishing, and Nine Lives Press.