Archives: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc. records, 1899-2003 [bulk 1945-1989], New York Public Library, Manuscripts and Archives Division, https://archives.nypl.org/mss/979.
Charles A. Madison, BOOK PUBLISHING IN AMERICA 530 (1966):
In 1960 [Farrar, Strauss and Cudahy] added to its already large backlist the books of Noonday Press, both clothbound and paperbacks.
Farrar, Straus and Cudahy Purchases Noonday Press, PW, July 11, 1960, at 43:
Farrar, Straus and Cudahy acquired Noonday Press, Inc. as a wholly owned subsidiary effective June 29. Sixty active backlist and current Noonday titles will now be on the Farrar, Straus and Cudahy list as “Farrar, Straus and Cudahy Noonday Paperbacks.”
Further expansion of the paperback program is scheduled for this winter when approximately 10 new titles will be shipped in November for January release.
Noonday was one of the earliest of the higher-priced paperback houses active in this country (PW, July 12, 1952). It was founded in 1951 by Arthur Cohen and Cecil Hemley, novelist and poet. The first books were published in 1952. In February, 1955, Noonday launched, as a new series, Meridian Books. In January, 1956, Noonday Press and Meridian Books separated, with Mr. Hemley remaining in charge of the former and Arthur Cohen becoming head of Meridian Books. On April 7 of this year (PW, April 18) World Publishing Co. acquired Meridian Books.
Mr. Hemley will remain in charge of the editorial operation of the Noonday Press after the merger with Farrar, Straus and Cudahy. Several other members of the Noonday Press staff will also be associated with the new business combine.
Roger W. Straus, Jr., founder of Farrar, Straus and Cudahy with John Farrar in 1946, will become president of Noonday Press as a subsidiary of Farrar, Straus and Cudahy. The other Noonday Press officers will be Sheila Cudahy and Robert Giroux, vice-presidents, and Robert Wohlforth, secretary and treasurer.
Farrar, Straus and Cudahy will maintain separate Noonday Press editorial offices at 80 E. 11th Street, New York 3, N. Y. until September 1. As of that date, the Noonday editorial offices will be at the Farrar, Straus and Cudahy offices at 101 Fifth Avenue, New York 3, N. Y. Until further notice, all orders for Noonday Press books should be sent to the sales department of Farrar, Straus and Cudahy at its offices located at 101 Fifth Avenue.
Most of the Farrar, Straus and Cudahy Noonday Paperbacks will be published simultaneously in cloth and paper. The forthcoming winter list includes a reissue of the Brazilian classic, “Dom Casmurro” by Machado de Assis; “Sex in Man and Woman” by analyst Theodor Reik (an original publication); “The Lost Weekend” by Charles Jackson, which is being reissued in both cloth and paperback editions; “The Glass Bees” by Ernst Juenger, the first English publication of a major German novel; a third enlarged edition of “Character Analysis” by Wilhelm Reik [sic]; “A Reader’s Guide to Literary Terms” by Karl Beckson and Arthur Ganz.
Noonday developed a notable series of Reader's Guides, including critical guides to the work of Joyce, Yeats, Eliot, and Conrad. This Reader’s Guide series will be expanded under the new program. Backlist Noonday Press titles now acquired by Farrar, Straus and Cudahy include: John W. Aldridge's “After the Lost Generation” in paper covers; and works by Lord Acton, Leonie Adams, Sholom Aleichem, Alfred Kazin, Jean Giraudoux, Paul Gauguin, R. K. Narayan, William Plomer, Jean-Paul Sartre and Louise Bogan, among many others.
The Noonday Review, a semi-annual literary review, will be discontinued.
Ad, PW, July 25, 1960, at 48-49:
Noonday Press, one of the oldest quality paperback houses, has just been acquired by Farrar, Straus & Cudahy. The first NOONDAY-FSC list, new additions to the 65 distinguished Noonday titles already in print (complete list on request), includes: . . .
John Tebbel, 4 A HISTORY OF BOOK PUBLISHING IN THE UNITED STATES 406-07 (1981)
Farrar Straus’s second venture in this field did not last either, but it was even more distinguished. In 1960, the company bought Noonday Press, Inc., as a wholly owned subsidiary, with 60 active backlist and current titles. Noonday had been founded in 1951 by Arthur Cohen, philosopher and critic, and Cecil Hemley, a novelist and poet, as one of the first higher priced quality paperback houses. Hemley and Cohen intended their house to operate much as a university press would, and although it never issued many more than a dozen titles a year, the books were of the highest literary quality--indeed, some said, too intellectual for the general market and certainly not mass market items. Undisturbed, the partners launched Meridian Press in 1955, a series of trade paperback titles of similar quality. A year later, they had parted, with Cohen becoming president of a new firm, Meridian Books, and Hemley remaining as director of Noonday. Not long after the merger with Farrar, Straus, Hemley left to join the Ohio University Press. He died in 1966.20 The Meridian imprint ceased to appear in the seventies.
Most of the Noonday paperbacks under the Farrar, Straus regime were published simultaneously in cloth and paper, and their intellectual content was lightened a little with the injection of such titles as Charles Jackson’s The Lost Weekend. One of the division’s most noteworthy projects was its series of Reader’s Guides, critical explications of the works of Joyce, Yeats, Eliot, Conrad, and others. As the Farrar, Straus & Giroux paperback program developed during the seventies, the Noonday imprint was dropped.
Isaac Bashevis Singer explains how FSG treated him much better than Noonday, which went out of business.