In January 2024 Equinox acquired Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd. The books that remain active on the Marion Boyars list are being added to this website (they are already available through our distributors and the book trade). If you have questions about any title, please contact us. Prospect Books, the Marion Boyars imprint for food history has its own website.

Marion Boyars, independent publisher, was born in 1927, Hamburg, Germany, daughter of publisher Johannes Asmus and his wife Hertha Feiner. She attended school in Switzerland, living with her mother and sister, before going on to Keele University to read for a degree in politics, philosophy and economics. After graduating, she married George Lobbenberg and had two daughters. Soon after the marriage ended, in 1963 she married poet, translator and advertising consultant Arthur Boyars.

In 1960 she answered an advertisement in The Bookseller that led her to buy a 50 per cent stake in the small independent publishing company run by John Calder in London. The resultant publishing house, Calder and Boyars published books by authors including Samuel Beckett, Henry Miller, Eugene Ionesco, Hubert Selby Jr, Peter Weiss and William S. Burroughs, until the firm divided in 1975. She then formed Marion Boyars Publishers. Working with her husband Arthur (described as her “literary guide and cheerleader”) she built up an eclectic list of translated fiction. The books published under the Marion Boyars imprint were to challenge preconceptions of literature. Maverick titles such as Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr and Georges Bataille’s Story of the Eye have become established modern classics, now under the Penguin Modern Classics banner. As for individual authors, Michael Ondaatje, first published by Marion back in 1978, went on to win the Booker Prize and attain international recognition for his fiction and poetry. Elias Canetti, Eugenio Montale and Kenzaburo Oe have all added their names to the list of Nobel Prize winners.

Marion Boyars died of cancer at her home in London in 1999, aged 71. On her death, her younger daughter Catheryn Kilgarriff took over the running of Marion Boyars Publishers, and published books that became successes with authors including Elif Shafak, Riverbend of Baghdad Burning and Hong Ying with K: The Art of Love. In 2014, the company acquired Prospect Books, from Tom Jaine, a leading authority and author in the field of food history, who had taken the company over from the late Alan Davidson, who with his wife Jane Davidson, had founded Prospect and the journal Petit Propos Culinaires (PPC)  1979. Read more about the founding of Prospect Books in this two-part article by Alan Davidson  (first published in  issues 47 and 48 of PPC in 1994.