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Leading Italian publishing house with a market share of 11.1% in 2015, Mondadori covers all segments of the trade market. It publishes many of the most well-known Italian and foreign authors: in fiction, Edoardo Albinati, Luca Bianchini, Andrea Camilleri, Mauro Corona, Dave Eggers, Jeffrey Eugenides, David Grossman, Sophie Kinsella, Pierre Lemaitre, Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Salman Rushdie, Fabio Volo and Carlos Ruiz Zafón, just to name a few; in non-fiction, the catalogue ranges from Italian journalists (Pierluigi Battista, Aldo Cazzullo, Massimo Franco, Giovanni Floris, Mario Giordano, Federico Rampini, Bruno Vespa) to authors such as Anne Applebaum, Mimmo Franzinelli, Thomas L. Friedman, Nicola Gratteri, Pietro Ichino, Henry A. Kissinger, Moises Naim, Gianni Oliva, Jeremy Rifkin and Simon Shama.continua
Leading Italian publishing house with a market share of 11.1% in 2015, Mondadori covers all segments of the trade market. It publishes many of the most well-known Italian and foreign authors: in fiction, Edoardo Albinati, Luca Bianchini, Andrea Camilleri, Mauro Corona, Dave Eggers, Jeffrey Eugenides, David Grossman, Sophie Kinsella, Pierre Lemaitre, Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Salman Rushdie, Fabio Volo and Carlos Ruiz Zafón, just to name a few; in non-fiction, the catalogue ranges from Italian journalists (Pierluigi Battista, Aldo Cazzullo, Massimo Franco, Giovanni Floris, Mario Giordano, Federico Rampini, Bruno Vespa) to authors such as Anne Applebaum, Mimmo Franzinelli, Thomas L. Friedman, Nicola Gratteri, Pietro Ichino, Henry A. Kissinger, Moises Naim, Gianni Oliva, Jeremy Rifkin and Simon Shama.
Active in its early years as a publishing house of books for children and youth, as well as school textbooks, Mondadori consolidated its authoritativeness and prestige in the first post-war period by adopting the country’s aspirations and strengthening the spirit of identity. On the one hand, the catalogue is enriched with the classics that comprise Italian culture – with the series Classici Italiani Mondadori, managed by Francesco Flora – and on the other, major contemporary authors are published, starting with Gabriele D’Annunzio and Luigi Pirandello.
The arrival of Luigi Rusca alongside founder Arnoldo in 1928 introduces into the history of the publishing house an additional fundamental and characterising element: an international focus, both in terms of authors as well as publishing ideas and series. The series I libri gialli is introduced, namely mystery books with a yellow cover, publishing international detective stories, from Agatha Christie to Edgar Wallace and George Simenon. This leads to the creation of Medusa, milestone of Italian publishing, which in just a few years introduces foreign twentieth-century literature to the Italian public, with a catalogue including: Hermann Hesse, Aldus Huxley, Thomas Mann, Colette, Virginia Woolf, Joseph Roth, Karen Blixen, Francis Scott Fitzgerald, François Mauriac, Georges Bernanos, John Steinbeck, John Fante, William Faulkner, Pearl S. Buck, Franz Werfel, Graham Greene, William Somerset Maugham, Raymond Quenau, Arthur Koestler, Vladimir Nabokov and James Joyce. Lastly, the Omnibus series is inaugurated and still exists today, featuring foreign, easy-to-read leisure books: the first title in the series is Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.
In the second post-war period, with the arrival of Arnoldo’s eldest son Alberto into the company, the publishing house strengthens its inclination for literature and non-fiction. The series Lo Specchio encompasses the major names of early twentieth-century Itailan poetry, from Cardarelli to Ungaretti, and from Quasimodo to Montale, while Medusa degli italiani publishes novels by Ignazio Silone, Guido Piovene, Alba De Cespedes, Aldo Palazzeschi, Mario Soldati, Vasco Pratolini, Mario Tobino, Piero Chiara, Fulvio Tomizza, Anna Banti, Giovanni Comisso and Maria Bellonci.
With the acquisition of Ernest Hemingway (and publishing in 1945 of the first book by Mondadori, namely For Whom the Bell Tolls), the strategy based on fiction writers is revived and modernised, taking on an international scope that is highly attractive for the public.
The last project to complete the already vast volume of titles and series, namely that of a more affordable series, takes shape in 1965 with the creation of Oscar, enabling the implementation of all affordable publishing initiatives by Mondadori. The launch slogan “Negli Oscar c’è” (the Oscars will have it), immediately clarifies the editorial approach: titles of every genre, from the copyright-expired classics to popular literature, but above all great literature. In fact, the first novel published is Hemingway’s Farewell to Arms. But the key innovation of the Oscar series is the selection of sales channel – the newsstand – never before used for books and much more widespread, in terms of number of sales points in the country, compared to bookstores.
The many facets of Mondadori continue over the years with the creation of Meridiani (1969), in the upper range, with quality titles but aimed at a wider public. Two examples of this: Vestivamo alla marinara by Susanna Agnelli and La donna della domenica by Fruttero&Lucentini. Quality leisure and entertainment become the winning combination of the publishing house, even in non-fiction.
The arrival of Leonardo Mondadori in the 1980s marks the introduction into the catalogue of high-calibre foreign authors, starting with Gabriel Garcia Marquez, acquired in 1982 – year in which the author wins the Nobel Prize for literature. But he’s not alone: Mondadori already publishes bestselling authors like Ken Follett, Frederick Forsyth and Dominique Lapierre, who are then followed by John Le Carré, Martin Cruz Smith, Judith Krantz, William Styron, Harold Robbins, and Thomas Harris, and later still, in the 1990s, John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell, P.D. James, James Ellroy, Tom Wolfe, Robert Harris, and Peter Hoeg.
The idea of publishing lighter but funny and intelligent books also dates back to these years, with authors such as Luciano De Crescenzo, Renzo Arbore, Giorgio Forattini, Roberto D’Agostino, Paolo Villaggio, Stefano Benni and Michele Serra.
Between the end of the last century and the first decade of 2000, Mondadori succeeds in capitalising on the immense treasure of its history and heritage – namely, great literature, quality entertainment, and a wide range of offer in terms of both taste and price – by adding a further element: the ability to discover and launch new talent. The major successes of Roberto Saviano, Paolo Giordano, Alessandro D’Avenia (all first-time authors), Margaret Mazzantini and, among the foreigners, Dan Brown date back to these years.
With regard to quality literature, the series Scrittori italiani e stranieri (Italian and foreign writers) is introduced, while Strade blu proposes more original and innovative authors, such as Chuck Palahniuk, Neil Gaiman, David Sedaris and Michael Moore.
In terms of mass market publishing, the series I Miti and the instalment works, starting with Ramses by Christian Jacq up to the publishing hit 50 Shades of Grey and beyond, mark two important phases in the development of Italian book production.