These selections are by no means the only milestones in Picador's forty years, but they epitomise the strengths and successes of our list.

October 6 1972 – Pan Editor Caroline Lassales and Pan Publishing Director Simon Master launch Picador

1974 – Sonny Mehta arrives from Granada to take up the role of Editorial Director for Pan and Picador

1978 – Picador publishes its first Paperback Original, Michael Herr’s Dispatches

1981 – Clive James is signed up and Unreliable Memoirs goes on to become one of Picador’s top-selling paperbacks

1982 – Science writing is reinvented as Oliver Sacks’ Awakenings becomes a popular science bestseller

1984 – Graham Swift is signed up with Waterland

1985 – Picador’s second Picador Booker Prize, The Bone People by Keri Hulme

1988 – first No. 1 hardback bestseller, The Beautiful Room is Empty by Edmund White

1996 – Last Orders becomes Picador’s first hardback Booker Prize winner

1999 – July launch of Picador Poetry list 

2001 – third living Picador Nobel Prize, to V. S. Naipaul

2002 – The Lovely Bones is published – it wins the inaugural Richard & Judy book club and has now sold nearly 2 million copies

2004 – fifth Picador Booker Prize, The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

2005 – sixth Picador Booker Prize, The Sea by John Banville

2007 – the first Picador to reach 100 impressions, Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

2010 – Emma Donoghue’s Room is shortlisted for the Booker and Orange Prizes as well as uniquely appearing on both the Channel 4 and Richard & Judy book clubs

READ THE FULL PICADOR HISTORY