To thank the many people who contributed to this book is a true pleasure. I especially want to thank those who generously gave their time to talk to me about their publishing projects: Josephine Berry, Chris, Jakob Jakobsen, Pauline van Mourik Broekman, Fabian Tompsett, and Simon Worthington. Some of these meetings developed into conversations and friendships that accompanied the progress of the book, for me one of the joys of writing. Much of Anti-Book was first aired in seminars and conference talks, and I would like to thank the organizers of these, in particular Pablo Lafuente for Publications on Art: Cultural, Social, and Political Uses in Seville; Tim Stott and Aislinn O’Donnell for a talk at the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media in Dublin; Audrone Zukauskaite and Kasparas Pocius for two conferences in Vilnius; Juan Pablo Macías for a convivial few days in late summer at the Histories of Publishing seminar at Villa Romana, Florence; and Branka Ćurčić, Zoran Gajić, Zoran Pantelić, Savo Romčević, and Borka Stojić of Kuda.org for hosting a most enjoyable time discussing the anti-book and other matters in Novi Sad, Belgrade, and Zagreb.
Stephen Zepke generously lent his critical eye to the material in this book at different stages of its formation; for this and his friendship I am most grateful. Many of the ideas in Anti-Book were formed during my time affiliated to the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC) at the University of Manchester and the Open University, where I benefited greatly from discussions across the disciplines, especially with Eleanor Casella, Jeanette Edwards, Gillian Evans, Penny Harvey, Hannah Knox, Chris McLean, Damian O’Doherty, Madeleine Reeves, and Kath Woodward. CRESC also provided me with two periods of much-needed research leave. Friends and colleagues in Manchester, London, and elsewhere contributed in different ways to the writing of this book: Koyes Ahmed, Jeremy Anderson, Selina Asombang, Wendy Bottero, Bridget Byrne, John Cunningham, Mehdi El Hajoui, Leah Hargreaves, Brian Heaphy, Graeme Kirkpatrick, Saree Makdisi, Sas Mays, Martha Michailidou, Khalid Nadvi, Sara and Sami Nadvi-Byrne, Simon O’Sullivan, Bev Skeggs, and Sivamohan Valluvan. My parents, June and John, and my brother Alan have been, as ever, a great source of love and support.
It was in conversation with my good friend Cesare Casarino that my anti-book ideas were first nudged toward book form, and Cesare, John Mowitt, and Simona Sawhney have been a pleasure to work with in bringing it to publication in the Cultural Critique series. I am most grateful to Doug Armato at the University of Minnesota Press for commissioning the book and guiding it to completion and to Erin Warholm-Wohlenhaus for all her help in the production stages. Many thanks to Holly Monteith for her fine copyediting. The manuscript benefited much from two anonymous readers, not that they or anyone else acknowledged here are responsible for the book’s errors.
Runa Khalique has shared the joys and trials of writing this book from its earliest days, feeling out fledgling ideas, raising an eyebrow at strange tales of communist publishing—and at my obsessions with them—and leading us on many adventures outside the world of books. During the writing of this book, Runa and I became parents to beautiful twin boys, Ilan and Noah. They have made their father proud and happy beyond words. It is to Runa and our boys that I dedicate the book, with much love.