Pelican Publishing
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About Pelican


Since 1926, Pelican Publishing Company has been committed to publishing books of quality and permanence with a special emphasis on books that cover every aspect of life in New Orleans and the surrounding regions. In the ninety-three years since publishing William Faulkner and William Spratling’s Sherwood Anderson and Other Creole Characters, Pelican has continued to push the perceptions of Southern publishing while remaining focused on stories of interest to generations of readers. Whether it be moments of local history revealed in books such as the New Orleans Architecture series, which was published in conjunction with New Orleans’ greatest historical preservationists over the course of twenty-five years; flavorful regional dishes celebrated on the pages of the Classic Recipes series or The Dooky Chase Cookbook, by the late Leah Chase, known as the “Queen of Creole Cuisine”; the holiday classic Cajun Night Before Christmas, which has sold more than two million copies and spawned musicals, plays, and even a holiday light display; or musical profiles of the area’s most talented artists in fascinating titles including Louisiana Rocks! and When Not Performing, Pelican has captured the local heartbeat in its works. Pelican’s reach has sometimes even grown beyond the market that inspires it. Pelican’s motivational titles See You at the Top and Think Like a Winner! led its entry into international venues, and many Pelican titles have now been widely translated and are enjoyed around the world.

The origins of Pelican Publishing go back to John McClure, a founding editor of the Southern literary magazine Double Dealer and a noted poet in his own right, who established Pelican Publishing Company in 1926. The paperback release that year of Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles marked the first trade publication by his friend and literary fellow, William Faulkner. The Pelican Bookshop on Royal Street was the favored hangout for their crowd of artists and writers, which included such preeminent Southern authors as Sherwood Anderson, Natalie Scott, Grace King, and Lyle Saxon. Author Stuart O. Landry took over as publisher of Pelican not long after its inception and contributed his own works to the growing catalog of Pelican titles. Over the years its owners have also included Hodding Carter as well as the New Orleans-based family of Dr. Milburn Calhoun, a former medical doctor and antiquarian bookseller. In 2019, Pelican became an independent imprint of Arcadia Publishing, the nation’s leading publisher of local interest books with a mission of connecting people to their past, to their communities, and to one another. Now approaching a century of publishing, Pelican remains based in New Orleans and is helmed by Publisher Scott Campbell, who brings a wealth of industry knowledge and a vision based on a spirit of collaboration and enthusiasm for the publishing process.