In its twenty year history, Serpent’s Tail has consistently published writers from outside the literary mainstream. With Elfreid Jelinek picking up the Nobel Prize in 2004 and Lionel Shriver scooping the Orange prize last year for We Need to Talk About Kevin, founder Pete Ayrton can be confident that the risks he has taken have paid off. He talks to the LIP about Richard and Judy, Harry Potter, and why Posh Porn is so great.
The LIP: Why did you start ST?
I think that the literary culture in this country has always been very, very complacent and very dominated by certain values. It gives me great pleasure to shake it up. But also I think in the 80s there were certain voices, like gay and lesbian writers, or black writers, which clearly weren’t getting published. It’s less the case now. I don’t think that you can say that it’s a disadvantage any more in terms of getting published to be black – one could argue that it probably helps. But that certainly wasn’t the case twenty years ago.
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