Jacques Testard of Fitzcarraldo Books photographed at the Guardian Photo Studios. Fitzcarraldo Editions is an independent British book publisher based in Deptford, London, specialising in literary fiction and long-form essays in both translation and English-language originals. It focuses on ambitious, imaginative, and innovative writing by little-known and neglected authors. Fitzcarraldo Editions currently publishes twelve titles a year. Three of Fitzcarraldo's authors have gone on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature: Svetlana Alexievich (2015), Olga Tokarczuk (2018) and Annie Ernaux (2022).
Jacques Testard, who was born in France but educated in England and Ireland, said that he had taken a roundabout route to publishing. As a student at Oxford University, he was on track to study for a doctorate in history until he sat through a seminar on “the memorial bells and fountains of Oxfordshire from 1847 to 1857” and realized he needed to change path. “It felt a bit futile,” he said.
Jacques Testard worked at The Sunday Times of London briefly and secured internships at publishers in France, Britain and the United States. In New York in 2010, he was struck by the number of vibrant literary magazines that were being published in the United States, including N+1 and Bomb. With a friend, Ben Eastham, he decided to start his own version in Britain. Called The White Review, it has since become well known for publishing work by future literary heavyweights, including Sally Rooney and Joshua Cohen, the American author who won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
Jacques Testard began Fitzcarraldo Editions in February 2014, having borrowed enough money from a family member to pay his rent for two years and publish at least 10 books.