Shrinking Violet Press

A New Title from 
Shrinking Violet Press

Shrinking Violet Press most recently published Untied: A Memoir by Mary Carswel, edited by Peter Cameron (2021).  Twenty copies of this book were made for friends of Mary Carswell, who served for many years as the Executive Director of MacDowell, the artist residency program founded by Edward and Marian MacDowell in Peterborough, New Hampshire.  In Untied, Carswell writes about her psychologically treacherous early years at High Lawn, the Vanderbilt mansion in the Berkshires, a childhood she characterized as being full of "beauty and terror."  

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Shrinking Violet Press

Shrinking Violet Press was founded in January 2014 by Peter Cameron.  It is a continuation of his Wallflower Press, which he had established in 2010, and was forced to rename due to copyright issues with Columbia University Press.


Shrinking Violet Press publishes limited-edition, hand-crafted chapbooks of poetry and prose in first editions of only (usually) ten copies.  Each book is edited and designed by Cameron and created by him with covers fabricated of vintage papers and textiles, and hand-sewn bindings.  He publishes his own work along with the work of writers he admires.


Shrinking Violet Press books were published in a series of five titles, which could be bought individually or at a discount by subscribing to the entire series.  Each  first edition book was  numbered from 1 – 10 (an additional five copies, A – E, were not for sale).  When (if) a book sold out its first edition it became available as a Shrinking Violet Reprint. These reprint editions are less elaborately produced than Shrinking Violet first editions, in a uniform design and size, but are still hand-crafted with vintage paper boards and hand-sewn bindings.  Only 100 numbered copies of Shrinking Violets Reprints will be produced.  Wallflower Press titles that had become available as Wallflower Reprints will continue to be available through this website, and will maintain their numbered sequence of 100 copies.

Series II

Solid Ivory: Memoirs by James Ivory

Shrinking Violet Press continued its groundbreaking publication of Solid Ivory: Memoirs by James Ivory, the memoirs of the renowned film director, with its second series of books (Series II).  These books, Volumes III – VII, were published at bi-monthly intervals over 2016-17 and joined the first two volumes in the Solid Ivory series (Eating in the Depression and Blomie: Dramatics), which were published in December of 2014.


The five volumes published in Series II follow Mr. Ivory from his childhood in Klamath Falls, Oregon –- including his memory of the first movie he ever saw when he was 3 years old –- to his sexual and romantic adventures during his university and army days, out into the wider world, including stops in Afghanistan, Venice, George Cuckor's living room, the about-to-be demolished stage of the old Metropolitan Opera House, and the Great Ball at Wilton. Ivory re-creates all of these places and people by observing them with his gimlet director's eye and then writing about them with sympathy and wit.  The volumes are organized as follows:


Volume III: Klamath Falls

Mr. Ivory remembers growing up in Klamath Falls, Oregon.


Volume IV: Love & Sex

Mr. Ivory remembers his early and formative experiences of love and sex.


Volume V: With Letters of Introduction

 Mr. Ivory travels to Venice (1950) and Kabul (1960).


Volume VI: Portraits

Mr. Ivory remembers his encounters with George Cuckor, Kenneth Clark, Dorothy Strelsin,Susan Sontag, Licia Albanese, et alia.


Volume VII: The Great Ball at Wilton & A Day With Wonder Woman

In 1979, Mr. Ivory and Mr. Ismail Merchant attend The Great Ball at Wilton, and are houseguests of Lady (Maria) St. Just at Wilbury Park.

In 1966, Mr. Ivory and Mr. Ishmail attend the christening of Lillian Ross' adopted baby Erik, along with J.D. Salinger and William Shawn.


All of these books were published in a limited first edition of ten copies complete with hand-sewn bindings and boards covered in antique silk.  Remaining copies are available for $125 a piece.

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