The story of Maurice Girodias and the Olympia Press is one of the most bizarre and flamboyant in publishing history.
At a time when dirty books (and great ones) were being banned in Britain and America, Girodias launched on a career as an English language publisher in 1950s Paris. A man of great inventive energy, literary taste and charm, Girodias created an eclectic list which combined works of real literary distinction, like Lolita, The Ginger Man and Naked Lunch with outright pornography.
During his heyday Girodias defied the censors and published some of the bell-wether titles of the twentieth century. John de St Jorre tells the story with fitting panache.
John de St. Jorre was born in London and educated in Britain and Singapore. After five years in the British Foreign Service he became a journalist. He covered the Nigerian-Biafran civil war and wrote The Brothers' War: Biafra and Nigeria, to be reissued in Faber Finds. He lives in New York and works as a freelance writer.