Garth Williams, Illustrator

Garth Williams was a little-known but talented young illustrator when he was commissioned by Ursula Nordstrom, head of Harper’s Department of Books for Boys and Girls, to illustrate the classic Stuart Little by E. B. White. More

To Kill a Mockingbird

Much-loved Pulitzer Prize–winning classic, voted by librarians across America as the best novel of the twentieth century. More

Ursula Nordstrom

When Anne Carroll Moore, the powerful and opinionated superintendent of children’s work at the New York Public Library, asked Harper & Brothers editor Ursula Nordstrom why she felt qualified to produce children’s books, Nordstrom said only this: “Well, I am a former child, and I haven’t forgotten a thing.” More

Social Change: Women Writers

In the mid-late 1800s, Harper & Brothers reprinted several milestone titles in the history of British feminist literature as well as the global canon, such as Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1847), Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847), and Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848), as well as George Eliot’s Middlemarch (1872). More

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943), a story about growing up poor in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn, was originally an entry for a Harper & Brothers memoir contest. More

J.R.R. Tolkien and the Trilogy

Sir Stanley Unwin, chairman of British publishers George Allen & Unwin (later acquired by HarperCollins), originally rejected the 9,250-page manuscript of The Lord of the Rings, the sequel to J. R. R. Tolkien’s moderately successful (at the time) The Hobbit, as it was too long, and the author would make a deal with the publisher only if they also agreed to take another of his unfinished books. More

Doctor Zhivago

Collins was the first to publish this epic romantic drama by the Nobel Prize winner in English. More

Tales of the City

First book in Maupin’s acclaimed and groundbreaking series documenting San Francisco’s underground and gay culture. More

A Christmas Carol

Dickens’s beloved classic of the meaning of Christmas that has inspired countless adaptations. More

Moby-Dick

Often called the greatest American novel of all time. More

Native Son

Wright’s unsparing reflection on what it means to be black in America. More