Saturday, July 19, 2014

Gary Pulsifer's Arcadia dismissal: 'I became increasingly marginalised'

Gary Pulsifer
How common to fire someone on a Friday - and I don't just mean commonplace. 

The dismissal of Gary Pulsifer yesterday from the publishing company he founded in 1996 - Arcadia Books - is shocking and presently inexplicable. Poet and novelist Fiona Pitt-Kethley (one of Gary's authors) compares his exit with the recent aggravated departure of Richard Ingrams from The Oldie, the magazine he founded in '92. She adds in a tweet: "The more I think about the sacking of Gary Pulisfer from Arcadia Books the crazier it seems. He has such a network of international contacts." And she asks: "Doesn´t experience and professionalism count for anything in publishing these days?"

Another of his writers, Michael Arditti, has tweeted his sorrow. He writes: "Horrified by this news. A sad day for you and for all your authors who must now reassess our futures." Only recently, Arcadia brought out Bonnie's Greer's memoirs A Parallel Life (reviewed here).

I asked Gary for an interview. Instead he sent me this statement:

"Of course it's difficult to leave the company I founded nearly 20 years ago and the one in which I invested so much in terms of energy and enthusiasm. In the new Arcadia I became increasingly marginalised and in a small company I suppose there is room for only one Big Chief. It has also been a real struggle to exist on the money I received as remuneration on a freelance basis. So it's with both a sense of sadness and relief that I say goodbye to all that. I've really been touched by the goodwill I've encountered since I made my announcement, not least from the stable of writers I built up over time."

Of his future he wrote this:  "And, who knows, perhaps I'll get Pulsifer Press up and running again."

Arcadia was rescued from administration by an outfit called MediaFund in 2013.

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