About Us

In Decem­ber of 2007 Houghton Mif­flin Com­pany acquired Har­court Edu­ca­tion mak­ing the com­bined com­pany the largest K-12 pub­lisher in the world. At the same time, it brought together two remark­able trade pub­lish­ing tra­di­tions which now make up the Houghton Mif­flin Har­court Trade and Ref­er­ence Pub­lish­ing Group.

Houghton Mif­flin Com­pany traces its his­tory to 1832, when William Tic­knor pur­chased The Old Cor­ner Book­store in Boston and, together with his part­ner, James Fields, estab­lished a pub­lish­ing com­pany. By the mid-nineteenth cen­tury, Tic­knor and Fields had assem­bled a list of authors that included some of the most renowned names in Amer­i­can lit­er­a­ture: Henry Wadsworth Longfel­low, Ralph Waldo Emer­son, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Har­riet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, and Henry David Thoreau.

Tic­knor and Fields formed a close asso­ci­a­tion with The River­side Press, a Boston print­ing com­pany founded by Henry Houghton in 1852. George Mif­flin became employed there as an eager young Har­vard grad­u­ate. After work­ing in nearly every posi­tion at the press, he became Houghton’s part­ner in 1872.

In 1880, Tic­knor and Fields merged with The River­side Press to form Houghton, Mif­flin and Com­pany. In addi­tion to pub­lish­ing the esteemed Tic­knor and Fields trade authors, the new com­pany estab­lished an edu­ca­tional depart­ment in 1882.

Over the years, Houghton Mif­flin launched many notable careers, includ­ing those of Willa Cather, Car­son McCullers, Philip Roth, Paul Ther­oux, Robert Stone, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Jonathan Safran Foer. The com­pany also num­bers Tim O’Brien, Edna O’Brien, Cyn­thia Ozick, and Ward Just among its fine authors of fic­tion. Houghton Mifflin’s non­fic­tion list fea­tures sem­i­nal works by Win­ston Churchill, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., John Ken­neth Gal­braith, Rachel Car­son, Jane Goodall, Eric Schlosser, James Car­roll, and Richard Dawkins. The house is also known for its poets, among them the for­mer poet lau­re­ate Don­ald Hall, Gal­way Kin­nell, Grace Schul­man, Alan Shapiro, and the win­ner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2007, Natasha Trethewey. Recent high­lights include Jerome Groopman’s How Doc­tors Think, David Sheff’s Beau­ti­ful Boy, Jonah Lehrer’s Proust Was a Neu­ro­sci­en­tist, Jonathan Miles’s Dear Amer­i­can Air­lines, Paul Theroux’s Ghost Train to the East­ern Star, Philip Roth’s Indig­na­tion, and Tim­o­thy Egan’s The Worst Hard Time, which won the National Book Award. Houghton pub­lishes the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, The Best Amer­i­can Series®, The Peter­son Field Guides®, the Gourmet Cook­book and other culi­nary clas­sics, and acclaimed books in the fields of sci­ence, sports, his­tory, and cur­rent affairs.

Har­court Trade Pub­lish­ers was estab­lished when Alfred Har­court and Don­ald Brace left Henry Holt and Com­pany in 1919 to form a new pub­lish­ing enter­prise. Early Har­court lists fea­tured Sin­clair Lewis, Carl Sand­burg, and John May­nard Keynes, joined over the decades by Vir­ginia Woolf, George Orwell, C. S. Lewis, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Thomas Mer­ton, Robert Low­ell, T. S. Eliot, and Robert Penn War­ren. In 1961, Helen and Kurt Wolff, cofounders of Pan­theon Books, became Harcourt’s cop­ub­lish­ers and brought with them their epony­mous list, which included the lumi­nar­ies Gün­ter Grass, Han­nah Arendt, and Kon­rad Lorenz. A main­stay of lit­er­a­ture in trans­la­tion, Har­court has pub­lished cel­e­brated inter­na­tional authors such as Italo Calvino, Umberto Eco, A.B. Yehoshua, and Amos Oz, as well as the Nobel Prize win­ners Octavio Paz, and José Sara­m­ago. Recent high­lights include fic­tion by Mar­garet Drab­ble, Michel Faber, Ursula K. Le Guin, Yann Mar­tel, Audrey Nif­f­eneg­ger, Ivan Doig, and Mohsin Hamid, and non­fic­tion by Tem­ple Grandin, Rory Stew­art, Ted Kera­sote, and the National Book Award final­ist Joan Wick­er­sham. Works by Wis­lawa Szym­borska, Richard Wilbur, Edward Hirsch, and the recent poet lau­re­ate Charles Simic attest to the house’s long-standing com­mit­ment to poetry.

Houghton Mif­flin Har­court launches its first com­bined trade list in Win­ter 2009. Under the Houghton Mif­flin Har­court imprint, the adult group will pub­lish approx­i­mately eighty new hard­cover books each year, and under the Mariner Books imprint (incor­po­rat­ing the Har­vest back­list), approx­i­mately ninety trade paper­backs, includ­ing paper­back orig­i­nals and books acquired from other pub­lish­ers. The ref­er­ence divi­sion con­tin­ues to pub­lish the Amer­i­can Her­itage® dic­tio­nar­ies and other author­i­ta­tive and pop­u­lar books about lan­guage, for adults and chil­dren. In addi­tion, Houghton Mif­flin Har­court dis­trib­utes books for Bea­con Press, The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Larousse and Chambers.

Houghton Mif­flin Har­court Children’s Book Group

Houghton Mif­flin Har­court Children’s Book Group encom­passes three award-winning imprints as well as the Graphia and Sand­piper paper­back lines. Houghton Mif­flin intro­duced its list of books for young read­ers in 1937. Houghton Mif­flin Books for Chil­dren pub­lishes lumi­nar­ies such as H. A. and Mar­gret Rey, Vir­ginia Lee Bur­ton, Bill Peet, Holling C. Holling, Scott O’Dell, and James Mar­shall; its con­tem­po­rary authors and illus­tra­tors include Steve Jenk­ins, D. B. John­son, Toni Mor­ri­son, Mar­i­lyn Nel­son, Eric Schlosser, Brian Lies, Chris Van Alls­burg, Allen Say, Lois Lowry, and David Macaulay. Houghton Mif­flin is also home to some of the best-loved children’s book char­ac­ters: Curi­ous George, Lyle the Croc­o­dile, George and Martha, Martha of Martha Speaks, and Tacky the Penguin.

Clar­ion Books became an imprint of Houghton Mif­flin in 1979. Clarion’s award-winning authors include David Wies­ner, Linda Sue Park, Karen Cush­man, Kather­ine Pater­son, and Gary Schmidt.

Har­court Children’s Books, known for clas­sics such as The Lit­tle Red Light­house and the Great Gray Bridge and The Lit­tle Prince, fea­tures notable authors and illus­tra­tors such as Avi, Janell Can­non, Mar­garet Chodos-Irvine, Lois Ehlert, Mem Fox, Han Nolan, Gen­nifer Chold­enko, David Shan­non, Janet Stevens, Susan Stevens Crum­mel, and Helen Oxenbury.