Sawtry publisher handed �120,000 funding award

A SMALL Sawtry-based publisher is celebrating a life-line funding award from the Arts Council.

A SMALL Sawtry-based publisher has received a lifeline funding award from the Arts Council.

Dedalus Books, which has been going for about 28 years, will receive �40,000 a year for the next three years as part of the agency’s new national portfolio of funded organisations.

The company, which specialises in publishing literary fiction and translating foreign language novels into English, was one of more than 1,300 organisations that applied for funding. Just 695 were successful.

Dedalus had applied for �75,000 a year to help cover costs, but managing director Eric Lane was thrilled with the award.

“Anybody in the current climate who applies for funding is grateful to be successful. It’s a difficult time for everybody,” he said.

He explained that the company started in 1983, publishing three first novels.

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“We realised there was a lot of good stuff not being published and managed to find the �10,000 to get started. I didn’t realise at the time how it difficult it was going to be but that’s probably a good thing.

“We have been going now for what seems like an awful long time. As you start out, you have no idea that you are going to be around for 28 years.

“It is very difficult when you start out and we were happy to still be going after a week.”

One of the first books published by Dedalus Books, Arabian Nightmare, is still in print, while another title, Memoirs of a Gnostic Dwarf is included in The Guardian’s list of 1,000 Novels Everyone Must Read.

The company is in the process of bringing Where Tigers Are at Home to print. The 700-page opus, by French writer Jean-Marie Blas de Robles, is a multi-strand novel set in Brazil and will cost �23,000 to translate.