Portrait of Harlin Quist as Pan.


Taken from a promotional poster
for Harlin Quist Books- circa 1973.

The Books of Harlin Quist
The unofficial website for Harlin Quist book fans.

Harlin Quist was an American book publisher who set a new standard of excellence in children's book publishing during the late 1960's.
From 1966-1984, Quist published over sixty children's books, featuring some of the finest European and American authors and illustrators. Quist's books helped establish the careers of many young artists, and brought a quirky and original look to childrens' book publishing.

Quist began as a theatrical producer before turning to publishing; he started his career at Crowell-Collier and then moved to Dell, where he worked on the first paperback picture books.

Many of the books were translations of books originally published in France.

The peak years for the Quist books are arguably 1970-1973, when the books were at their most flamboyant. This was when Quist was publishing large, lush editions such as The Teletrips of Alala featuring art by Nicole Claveloux (one of the Quist's main artists) and Story Number 1 and Story Number 2 (both written by famed playwright Eugene Ionesco and illustrated by the Swiss artist Etienne Delessert). However, as the 1970s continued, Quist's books become smaller and less impressive. By 1976 Quist was reduced to publishing modest little paperbacks, such as Go Go Grabote and Dracula Spectacula.

In the 1980s, Quist branched out a bit, publishing art monographs such as Resemblances and The World of Donald Evans.

Today, the Quist books are remembered by a small group of appreciative collectors who prize these books for their remarkable artwork and design.

See the book list.

For one year he ventured into adult books, for which he won two American Book Awards. Following those awards, Quist left publishing for a time, and became involved in theater and other interests.

Book Dealers that carry
Quist books:

www.Alibris.com

Loganberry Books

Acorn Alliances

www.Ebay.com

Amazon.com


 

List of Harlin Quist Books

Return to:
Ted Jalbert Design

 


 

 

 

In the 1990s, after a 15 year hiatus, Quist began publishing books again in France, where he spent most of his time. He re-issued some of his older titles as well as publishing new ones for European distribution. One of his newer books was When Cats Were Green. A native of Minnesota, Quist received an award from the French government for his achievements as a book publisher in Europe.

Harlin Quist died May 13, 2000. He was 69.

 

The New York Times published an obituary for Harlin Quist on May 20, 2000, written by Eden Ross:

By EDEN ROSS LIPSON
Published: May 20, 2000

Harlin Quist, publisher of Harlin Quist Books, died May 13. He was 69. Harlin Quist, a publisher of sophisticated children Harlin Quist's books, died last Saturday at the home of a niece in Minneapolis. He was 69. He was suffering from myasthenia gravis and complications from a recent hip replacement, said Clare Zupetz, a niece. Mr. Quist maintained an office in Paris where Quist Books, his last publishing venture, is based.

Mr. Quist, whose name was originally Harlin Bloomquist, was born and brought up in Virginia, Minn., attended community college there and Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh before coming to New York in 1958. In 1959 he produced and appeared off Broadway in the highly praised first English language production of Chekhov's ''Ivanov.'' He abandoned the theater for publishing, beginning as an editor at Crowell-Collier and then moving to Dell, where he worked on the first picture paperback books.

In 1967 he started Harlin Quist Books and a year later established a French partnership that enabled him to publish and distribute his books in Europe as well as in the United States. A showcase for the work of young artists, his books attracted immediate attention everywhere but won more praise than sales in the United States. ''The Geranium on the Windowsill Just Died but Teacher You Went Right On,'' written and illustrated by Albert Cullum, sold over a half-million copies worldwide and a new French edition appeared in 1999. ''Story Number 1,'' by Eugene Ionesco, illustrated by Etienne Delessert, was a 1968 New York Times Best Illustrated Book. Other artists whose distinctive work he introduced include Guy Billout, Nicole Claveloux and Patrick Couratin. In the 1980's he went into semi-retirement and returned to northern Minnesota to care for his ailing mother. He established a nonprofit corporation, Theater in the State, to rehabilitate the Norshor, an Art Deco movie theater in Duluth, Minn., and reopened it with himself as an impresario of high culture. He presented dance companies including the Hubbard Street troupe from Chicago, staged contemporary plays and presented conversations with authors like Edward Albee. In 1994 he became ill with myasthenia gravis, which forced him to withdraw, and the building reverted to its previous owners.

He is survived by two brothers, Kermit Bloomquist and Quentin Bloomquist of Virginia; a sister, Betty Hakala of Springfield, Ohio; and many nieces and nephews. In 1997 the Salon du Livre de Jeunesse in Paris held a retrospective of original art and first editions of Mr. Quist's books in French and English that attracted 150,000 visitors. Mr. Quist established a new company in Paris with a French partner, Patrick Couratin, a designer and illustrator, and they reissued limited editions of some of his best-known books in France and Germany. Plans are under way for new American editions. The Alliance Francaise in New York exhibited 120 original illustrations from Quist books last winter, and a similar show is scheduled for the Minnesota Center for Book Arts in September.

Publisher's Weekly printed an obituary on May 29, 2000:

Obituary: Harlin Quist
Harlin Quist, publisher of Harlin Quist Books, died May 13. He was 69. Quist began as a theatrical producer before turning to publishing; he started his career at Crowell-Collier and then moved to Dell, where he worked on the first paperback picture books. Quist started his line of books in 1967, mostly publishing children's books. For one year he ventured into adult books, for which he won two American Book Awards. Following those awards, Quist left publishing for a time, and became involved in theater and other interests. Last year, Quist revived his imprint--reissuing some of his older children's titles as well as publishing new ones for European distribution--in Paris, where he spent most of his time.

 

In December 2000—seven months after Quist's death—the Minnesota Center for Book Arts had an exhibit of Harlin Quist art.



Click here to see a video news story
from KCTA Minnesota Public Television
from NewsNight Minnesota, Twin City Public Television-
December 4, 2000.

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Pertinent Links:

Etienne Delessert information

Phillipe Couretin information

Nicole Claveloux information

Harlin Quist Online Group

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have information on other Harlin Quist books?
Ted Jalbert would like to hear from you! Email any comments and send text/gifs/jpegs to Ted Jalbert.

I am also seeking information on the books of Nicole Claveloux, Etienne Delessert, and other alumni from the Harlin Quist books. If you have any information you would like to add to this list, please feel free to email your input.

(see email address below)