2022 marks fifty years of Picador and the launch of the Picador Collection, a new list of contemporary classics taken from and inspired by the last fifty years of 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. 

Picador Collection will introduce 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. 

The collection launches with several familiar names: 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.

Explore the Picador Collection

The first thirteen titles in the collection are books that inspire devotion. Not only are they often technically dazzling, award-winning, and culturally significant, but they each hold a unique and inimitable voice at their heart. 

Book cover for Station Eleven

Station Eleven

Emily St. John Mandel

Book cover for American Psycho

American Psycho

Bret Easton Ellis

Book cover for Middle Passage

Middle Passage

Charles Johnson

Book cover for Room


Emma Donoghue

Book cover for A House for Mr Biswas

A House for Mr Biswas

V. S. Naipaul

Book cover for So You've Been Publicly Shamed

So You've Been Publicly Shamed

Jon Ronson

Book cover for Red Dust Road

Red Dust Road

Jackie Kay

Book cover for The Line of Beauty

The Line of Beauty

Alan Hollinghurst

Book cover for Blood Meridian

Blood Meridian

Cormac McCarthy

Book cover for The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

Oliver Sacks

Book cover for A Manual for Cleaning Women

A Manual for Cleaning Women

Lucia Berlin

Book cover for White Noise

White Noise

Don DeLillo

Book cover for A Little Life

A Little Life

Hanya Yanagihara

Book cover for Nevada


Imogen Binnie

Book cover for Cultural Amnesia

Cultural Amnesia

Clive James

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. 

There are many titles still to come in 2022 and beyond, including five titles from the revered and hugely influential Antiguan-American writer Jamaica Kincaid.

Books that start conversations

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