TLDR: We are publishing three new novellas from Pulitzer Prize winning writer, David Mamet, in a letterpress-printed and hand-bound edition. Be a part of literary history by supporting the publication of this great work, by this great writer!
In the 1450's, Johannes Gutenberg collected subscribers to publish his Bible, the first edition ever made on a printing press. Some six hundred years later, we are seeking to take Gutenberg's model—printing and binding an edition by hand, and publishing it with the support of everyday subscribers—to print something new.
We have turned to Kickstarter before to help us publish Shakespeare's Sonnets, in an edition with an original introduction by Harvard President Neil Rudenstine, and Sherlock Holmes Hexalogy, the first ever edition to bring together Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's six favorite stories in one volume. And now, we turn to you, to help us publish something new.
We have teamed up with Pulitzer Prize winning writer David Mamet to publish three original novellas, in a single, beautiful edition called 'THREE WAR STORIES'. Mamet has made these novellas available as 'print on demand' and ebooks, but he has chosen Thornwillow Press for the first edition. To make this happen, we need your help.
This is an opportunity to be a part of literary history. This isn't a reprint of a classic work, but the first edition of an original work by a classic author. It's an exciting endeavor, and Mamet has written to meet the challenge. Famous for his dialogue, he now brings his mastery of the art to the dialogue of war. His three powerful stories of war are:
- The Redwing, the story of a naval captain, who becomes a prisoner of war and endures the unimaginable.
- Notes on Plain Warfare, a story of preparedness, which teaches us to "save the last bullet for ourselves".
- The Handle and The Hold, the story of two former World War II pilots, who, during the Israeli War of Independence, steal a plane.
As a monument to the backers who make this original publication possible, we will be including a Subscriber's List with every copy. This makes your contribution to this literary endeavor clear and enduring, linking your name to the edition as it makes its way into the permanent collections of the world's great libraries.
This can't happen without you—please consider backing! And even if you can't back the project, please follow our work on Facebook, for beautiful editions and stories from the literary world!
A world-class author . . .
David Mamet is one of the most important writers of our time. His breakout drama Glengarry Glen Ross was celebrated by audiences and at the Tonys alike. He is known by film-lovers as the writer behind The Verdict, The Untouchables, Hannibal, and The Winslow Boy among many others. He has written lines performed by Al Pacino, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Paul Newman; he has won or been nominated for every major award in the business; and now, he takes his work from the stage and the screen, to the beauty of a handmade edition.
. . . meets a world-class illustrator.
Jackson Robinson is an illustrator of unmatched talent. He is among the most celebrated modern playing card designers, and is a star of the Kickstarter playing card world. He contributed original illustrations, which are interspersed throughout the stories.
What is a 'fine press' book?
Today the written word has become a commodity. Few people have encountered a 'fine edition' book—a book that's truly something to behold! While most books are mass-produced in factories where machines spit out cheaply-made volumes meant to be discarded after a few reads, a 'fine press' book is made by master craftsmen with the finest materials, and with heart.
We start with the layout. While most publishers' first concern is minimizing page count (to reduce printing costs), ours is readability and elegant design. Our books are laid out by our team of master typographers, using specially crafted fonts and centuries-old design techniques based on the golden ratio. We aspire to create an unrivaled reading experience, to enhance the relationship between the reader and the written word. In this digital age when you can turn a book on and off with a switch, we believe that typography and layout matters.
Then comes the printing. Each page is printed letterpress, a technique dating back to Gutenberg and the first printing presses. The words are literally pressed into the paper on our historic Heidelberg. Reading a letterpress book is an experience like no other: you feel the text as you run your finger across the page. We use only the finest archival ink and heavy stock. While trade paperbacks yellow and wither away, our books will last far longer than we will. For this reason, Thornwillow books are included among many of the world's great archival collections, including the Smithsonian, the Vatican, and the White House, to name only a few.
And then we bind each volume by hand. The pages are sewn together, and then bound in leather, letterpress paper wrappers, and paste papers, depending on the version. A great deal of time goes into the binding of each book, the quality of which you can feel when you hold one in your hand. If you've never experienced a hand-bound book before, this is an excellent place to start.
Using only the finest materials, and historic techniques. Throughout the entire process, we use only the finest materials, from archival inks and heavy paper stock. The presses and techniques we use are historic. In making books in this way, we continue a great tradition which has been passed down for centuries, and which is at the heart of culture.
An investment that makes an impact.
When you pledge for a Thornwillow volume, you are making an investment. Not only do the books themselves appreciate in value—as recent auctions have shown (see here, here, or here)—but their value to the arts is immeasurable. You are investing in the perpetuation of the arts and crafts of the written word. You are investing in people who are dedicating their lives to making beautiful things that matter. You are investing in the city of Newburgh, NY that is sorely in need of economic revitalization. You are entering into a partnership with the community of ideas.
Each volume is hand-numbered. At the end of the project, we ask our backers to request which number they'd like. While we cannot grant every request, a majority do get the numbers they requested. The number of the book you receive can have great sentimental value (we often have backers requesting #30, say, because it is a gift for their 30th anniversary), and great value for collectors. A very low-numbered copy can fetch nearly twice as much as a high-numbered copy in auctions down the line. To be completely above board: we assign numbers in the order that backers pledge. That means, if you pledge early, you're much more likely to get the number you want than if you pledge late.
We are offering 'Three War Stories' in four unique bindings: in paper-wrappers, in cloth, in half-leather, and in fourteen unique full-leather copies.
Paper-Wrapper - Starting at $60. Edition size limited to one hundred more than backed.
Half-Cloth - Starting at $120. Edition size limited to one hundred more than backed.
Half-Leather - Starting at $450. Edition size limited to only a hundred copies. Mamet will be signing each half-leather copy.
Full-Leather - Starting at $1,500. There are fourteen full-leather books in total. See the reward tiers on the right for details. Mamet will be signing each full-leather copy.
Past editions—'Shakespeare's Sonnets' and 'Sherlock Holmes Hexalogy'
We are very proud to have published two fine editions on Kickstarter before, with the help of hundreds of literary devotees. These editions have been distributed to collectors in a dozen countries, to many of the great archival libraries in the world, and now, as a last shot before they're fully subscribed, we're offering them alongside 'Three War Stories'.
To reserve your copy, pledge for the 'Three War Stories & Sonnets / Sherlock' and 'COMPLETE COLLECTOR' tiers. Time is running out!
More about Thornwillow.
In 1985 Thornwillow was founded by Luke Pontifell, then sixteen, who spent his summer vacations printing and hand binding books. What started as a labor of love has grown into one of the leading purveyors of specialty books and custom stationary in the United States, consolidating centuries of craft and technique under one roof in Newburgh , New York.
For more than thirty years Thornwillow has been committed to enhancing the relationship between the reader and the written word. Our paper, printing, binding, and books are meant to be a lasting and powerful method of communicating and preserving ideas in the modern world. Ultimately, what we do is a very simple thing. It's black ink on white paper, and from that very simple combination, one can open up visions of the universe.
Risks and challenges
We have been thrilled to work with the Kickstarter community over the past year to complete ten projects. Each of these has brought its own joys and challenges. Unforeseen challenges may always arise. If so, we will communicate them quickly and fully with our backers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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