Picador Collection

Era-defining modern classics with a bold new look.

2022 marked fifty years of Picador and the launch of the Picador Collection, a new list of contemporary classics taken from and inspired by Picador’s agenda-setting and boundary-pushing publishing.

Sonny Mehta first launched Picador as an imprint in 1972 with the aim of publishing outstanding international writing. The Picador Paperback Originals quickly became known for their iconic white spines, which were the mainstay of many readers' bookshelves.

What defines a Picador book is the author’s voice . . .
. . . The way a story is told is just as important as the story itself.

These books were known for being challenging, contemporary and eclectic fiction and non-fiction that started conversations and inspired cult followings. These were titles that readers and booksellers eagerly pressed into each other’s hands and the hands of customers, and that held a distinctive voice at the heart of their storytelling. 

Today, Picador publishes writers from all over the world and provides a platform for voices that are often not heard. It is home to Nobel Prize winners, such as V.S. Naipaul, Booker Prize winners from Patrick McCabe to Douglas Stuart and major international bestsellers. 

From the jet-black splatter satire of Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho, to the unforgettable story of Jude, JB, Willem and Malcolm in Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life and the prescient, dystopian fiction of Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven, Picador Collection introduces the best of our publishing since 1972 to a new generation of readers and sees the classic white spines reimagined with a bold new look. 

Explore the Picador Collection

Technically dazzling, award-winning and culturally significant, these are books that inspire devotion, each with a unique and inimitable voice.

How Hanya Yanagihara's modern classic, A Little Life, took on a visual life of its own

Hanya Yanagihara, author of A Little Life, explains how her novel took on a visual life online and we share just a few of our favourite images shared by fans.

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A bold new look

Design has always been at the heart of Picador’s publishing, and Picador Collection has been created to give new life to these important books with a bold contemporary look.

The creative ethos behind this modern design celebrates the titles with newly commissioned illustration, photography and design. It provides a platform for artists from a variety of backgrounds and experiences and showcases striking and innovative covers from both known and unknown creators.

When the covers are stacked together they create a visual illusion of open books, inviting the reader to pick them up and enter into them.
Katie Tooke, Design Manager

The result is a look that stands with and apart from other classics lists, and that is full of life. 

Book spines from the collection

Books that start conversations

'Poetry pursues the human': a guide to the work of Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy's poetry is often comic, often dark, often deeply, knottily romantic; never classifiable as one thing or another. We present our guide to her collections and anthologies.

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Bret Easton Ellis, writing the books people have been telling us not to publish since 1985

To publish or not to publish, that is the question. In the case of Bret Easton Ellis's cult debut novel, this reader was certain: ‘I'd pass'.

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'Believe it or not, the pandemic was entirely incidental to the plot.' Emily St John Mandel on Station Eleven

The Sea of Tranquility writer discusses parallel existences, what she would put in the Museum of Civilization and why Station Eleven was never intended to be a pandemic novel.

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A guide to the works of the incomparable Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid's books are beloved for their candour, insight and honest exploration of familial relationships and colonial legacy. Here, Leah Cowan shares her guide to just some of Jamaica Kincaid's must-read works.

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'Something of a literary outlaw': a guide to Cormac McCarthy

From the dark dystopia of The Road to the anti-Western Blood Meridian and the riveting No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy's writing is courageous and uncompromising. Here, Travis Elborough gives us his guide to Cormac McCarthy's books.

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Jon Ronson reflects on our changing relationship with social justice

Simultaneously powerful and hilarious in a way only he can be, listen as Jon Ronson reflects on the true stories that not only inspired him but have stayed with him long after he finished writing his modern classic, and shares what his relationship with social media is like in 2022. . . 

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Jackie Kay reads from Red Dust Road

Watch Jackie Kay read from her unforgettable memoir, renowned for its remarkable warmth and candour, in this exclusive video.

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